Reactivated British occult metal legends HELL are streaming their new single, "The Age Of Nefarious", to be released on October 25 via Nuclear Blast Records. The 10-inch vinyl will come in several different colors and will include the title track plus live versions of three songs recorded at this year's Bloodstock Open Air festival.
"The Age Of Nefarious" single track listing:
01. The Age Of Nefarious
02. On Earth As It Is In Hell (live)
01. Blasphemy And The Master (live)
02. The Oppressors (live)
After disbanding in 1987, HELL was reincarnated in 2011, with Andy Sneap (guitar) and David Bower (vocals) joining original members Kev Bower (guitar, keyboards), Tony Speakman (bass) and Tim Bowler (drums). Now the British quintet is about the release the follow-up to its highly acclaimed 2011 debut, "Human Remains". The band's sophomore offering, "Curse And Chapter", will be made avialable on November 22 via Nuclear Blast. The effort will include a bonus DVD containing six songs from HELL's February 23, 2013 show at the Darwin Suite Assembly Rooms in Derby.
Commented Kev Bower: "In a world dominated by conflict, disease, corruption, poverty, disaster and crime — much of which has religion at its source — this is truly the dawning of 'The Age Of Nefarious'.
"The song was always going to be the perfect opener for the new 'Curse And Chapter' album since it lays the foundation for everything which follows, but when we were approached by our friends at Nuclear Blast with the idea of producing a lead-off EP, we also decided that out of four possible EP album-track candidates, this song should also be the one. It represents everything which HELL represents — it powers along in awe-inspiring majesty, but takes lots of unexpected twists and turns before reaching its inevitable conclusion. The artwork is once again the result of our collaboration with Dan Goldsworthy, and it shows just a tiny fraction of the artwork he has created for 'Curse And Chapter'.
"With regard to the additional live tracks, where better to have recorded these than from the main stage at Bloodstock Open Air 2013 — the spiritual home of U.K. metal, during one of the best shows we have ever played, and in front of 10,000 of the most dedicated metalheads in the world.
"We are proud to be giving you a glimpse into the second chapter."
"Curse And Chapter" track listing:
01. Gehennae Incendiis
02. The Age Of Nefarious
03. The Disposer Supreme
05. Harbinger Of Death
06. End Ov Days
08. Something Wicked This Way Comes
09. Faith Will Fall
10. Land Of The Living Dead
11. Deliver Us From Evil
12. A Vespertine Legacy
Derby Assembly Rooms
01. Let Battle Commence
02. Something Wicked This Way Comes
03. Plague And Fyre
04. The Devil’s Deadly Weapon
05. Save Us From Those Who Would Save Us
Bloodstock Open Air
07. The Quest
08. Blasphemy And The Master
Added Kev Bower: "The artwork for 'Curse And Chapter' is once again the result of our collaboration with artist Dan Goldsworthy and photographer Nigel Crane, who we first worked with on the 'Human Remains' album cover in 2011.
"The digipak for this is one of the most complex pieces of CD/DVD packaging ever attempted by Nuclear Blast, and the concept for this was dreamed up by myself and Andy Sneap [guitar] whilst staggering back from the local pub late one night, after a 'heavy creativity session.' It was inspired by the rise in spiritualism in England during the 19th century, during which time séances and attempts to communicate with the dead became commonplace — along with the establishment of numerous secret cults and aristocratic organizations who would meet in secret, attempting to raise spirits and reach 'the other side.' We also wished to explore the phenomenon known as 'post-mortem photography.'
"Because photography was very costly at the time, the only time ordinary families could justify the expense was after the subject was already dead. We became gripped by these macabre Victorian images of deceased family members and children being posed alongside their living families, often being supported in a standing position by equally macabre mechanical devices designed specifically for this gruesome purpose. The other major issue with spirit communication is that you never know who (or what) will 'come through' — and it was common for malevolent entities to create havoc in the séance room.
"Dan's done a superb job of rendering our dark imaginings into reality, using his vision and skill to generate an entire art platform based around the existence of such a secret aristocratic spiritual cult. The cover image shows the cult's symbol, and his manipulation of the additional photography shows a set of disturbing images which could easily have been shot at the turn of the century in some dark, dangerous English country house, during an exchange with the dead which should not happen."
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.