Following the immensely successful "Human Remains" tour of 2011/2012 which saw the band gracing the stages of no less than 16 different countries across Europe and Scandinavia, legendary British occult metal act HELL has announced its only confirmed U.K. show of 2013 — on Saturday, February 23 at the Assembly Rooms, Darwin Suite, Derby. This gig will showcase the band's biggest-ever stage production, featuring a 100-minute lunacy-fest of epic proportions — including fire-breathing, stilt-walking, a four-truss movable lighting rig, some astonishing new additions to the "Church Of Hell" stage set, along with their full-on (and previously unseen in the U.K.) firestorm and pyro show — all belted out through the biggest PA rig ever crammed into this venue. There will be a few additional surprises which are being kept under wraps.
HELL's concert at Assembly Rooms will see the band unveiling brand-new tracks from their forthcoming second album, and the whole show will be filmed/recorded for a live DVD release, so front-row looney-tune crowd surfers are even more welcome than usual. The venue, the Derby Assembly Rooms Darwin Suite, is the spiritual home of Midlands metal where Bloodstock all started way back in 2001. It provides the perfect combination of a big-stage production platform, but without losing the "up-close-and-personal" vibe which is so important to the band and fans alike. There will even be a special HELL beer for this event — a fabulously dark 6.66% ABV 5-malt real ale called "The Devil's Deadly Weapon" created especially for this show by the band's fans at the Northstar Brewing Company. This will be available at the venue both on cask and in commemorative bottles for you to take away and keep. Or drink. Support at the concert will come from WINTERFYLLETH and A THOUSAND ENEMIES, while the event will be compered by Bloodstock Open Air's very own Master Of Ceremonies Rob Bannister. Extremmetal's ace Swedish photographer Soile Siirtola will also be in residence, snapping anyone wearing a HELL shirt for inclusion on a commemorative photo wall which will appear within the DVD cover artwork.
HELL's last U.K. headline show attracted fans from a staggering 34 different counties of the U.K., along with a healthy scattering of overseas diehards from Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and even Brazil, so if you really want to make a night of it, the band has provided links which give a whole raft of low-cost accommodation in the area. Several of the listed hotels partner with the Derby Live organization, and offer special cheap rates (like £25 per person including full English brekkie at the Days Hotel) for gig accommodation if you mention "Derby Live" when booking.
A 10-minute video clip featuring highlights of HELL's July 21 performance at the Zwarte Cross festival in Lichtenvoorde, The Netherlands can be seen below.
HELL's latest album, "Human Remains", entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 46.
Cited as a huge indirect influence, and as one of the true founding fathers of occult metal, HELL formed in 1982 from the carcasses of U.K. metal bands RACE AGAINST TIME and PARALEX, whose "White Lightning" EP was listed by METALLICA as a favorite, and which was subsequently included on the Lars Ulrich, Geoff Barton "NWOBHM '79 Revisited" sampler album.
Despite over five years of constant touring, the band was cruelly overlooked by the '80s music press, who just didn't get it. HELL were too different, too extreme, too musically intelligent and far too thought-provoking for all but the most enlightened to understand them. The final crushing blow came when their long-awaited 1986 album deal with Mausoleum collapsed as the label went bankrupt, followed by the tragic suicide of singer/guitarist Dave Halliday in 1987. The remaining members drew a line in the sand and stopped playing overnight.
A teenage Andy Sneap was a permanent fixture on the front row of almost every show HELL played and was also taught to play guitar by Halliday. He then went on to form SABBAT and become a renowned metal producer. Upon meeting again, the remaining members of HELL — Kev Bower (guitar/keyboards), Tony Speakman (bass) and Tim Bowler (drums) — talked with Andy about re-recording the old material to release in conjunction with the old demos. With Sneap replacing Halliday on guitar and David Bower on vocals, the band has recorded 10 HELL classics from the '80s.