Los Angeles-based female-fronted metallers HELLION have inked a contract with London-based HNE/Cherry Red Records. The first of three HELLION albums set for release this year is a 2-disc anthology titled "To Hellion And Back", which will be released on April 1, and the first 1,000 copies will be autographed by the band's singer, Ann Boleyn.
"To Hellion And Back" chronicles the band's beginnings from 1982, to the present, and features new music from HELLION. It features a collection of fan favorites, hard-to-find recordings, and previously unreleased tracks. Among the collection are also two songs that were produced by Ronnie James Dio at the legendary Sound City recording studio. The cover artwork was designed by Italian artist Gaetano Di Falco and inspired by the photography of P.G. Brunelli.
The musicians enlisted by powerhouse vocalist Ann Boleyn for the new HELLION include drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, Geoff Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE, DIO, DIO DISCIPLES), keyboardist Scott Warren (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL), Swedish import bassist Bjorn Englen (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, DIO DISCIPLES), and up-and-coming lead guitarist Maxxxwell Carlisle.
HELLION's new tracks were produced by legendary British studio figure Ken Scott, who has produced such iconic albums asDavid Bowie's "Hunky Dory", "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars", "Aladdin Sane" and "Pinups". A top producer at Abbey Road Studios, Scott is also acknowledged as one of the five principal engineers for THE BEATLES. He has engineered countless classic works, including George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass", Elton John's "Madman Across The Water", "Honky Chateau" and "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player". Other credits include gold and platinum albums by SUPERTRAMP, David Bowie, MISSING PERSONS and KANSAS.
Scott recently said of the comparison between working with David Bowie and Ann Boleyn: "Working with Bowie or working with Ann of HELLION, you've got sheer talent."
Acknowledging Boleyn as the driving force propelling the band, Scott notes: "Over the years, the musicians have changed. The one musician that has always been the same is Ann. So once again, it's new musicians. The one constant thing about HELLION is Ann, and her incredible voice."
Says Wright of working with Boleyn and HELLION: "She's tried to stay true to that heaviness and a certain darkness. She's sticking to the same formula, just different musicians, though."
"To Hellion And Back" track listing:
02. Driving Hard
03. Don't Take No For An Answer
04. Break The Spell
05. Up From The Depths
06. Run For Your Life
07. Get Ready
08. Witching Hour
09. Screams In The Night
10. Upside Down Guitar Solo /
11. The Hand
12. Bad Attitude
13. Tower Of Air
03. The Evil One
05. The Black Book
06. Living In Hell
08. Demon Attack
09. Resurrection / Will Not Go Quietly
10. Shit (Is Gonna Hit The Fan)
11. Dead and Gone
12. Dream Deceiver
13. Hell Has No Fury
The "To Hellion And Back" CD will be available for pre-order through The Omega Order.
In 1983, when the term "female metal singer" did not exist, HELLION's demo recordings (released as a self-titled mini-LP) climbed to No. 6 in England's rock charts. In America, HELLION, however, was regarded by the corporate music world as "too heavy" for a band with a female singer.
Despite never releasing an album on a major record label, HELLION was the first female-fronted metal band to be featured on MTV and VH1 and was also the first U.S. metal band to perform in the former Soviet Union on a Monsters Of Rock festival.
HELLION will tour in Europe in 2014 and is expected to appear at a number of major festivals.
Photo credit: P.G. Brunelli