Review Summary: Completely innovative and refreshing, Hellsongs give us a cover album that is beautiful, cheery, momentous, and simply brilliant.
In a sense, you could say that Hellsongs completely fu
cked things up with Hymns in the Key of 666
. The album is a collection of heavy metal covers, songs that could be considered classics, completely stripped bare and made unrecognizable. You would be hard pressed to find similarities between the Hellsongs version of, lets say ‘Seasons in the Abyss’, and its real counterpart, other than the lyrics. Nevertheless, Hellsongs give us entirely different takes on what are some very well known heavy metal songs, and disregarding the familiarity one has with the songs, injects a totally original essence into them. Every song on here is wonderfully pleasant, and whatever charm the songs may have originally had, Hellsongs removes and makes up for with their own.
The album moves in and out of a variety of moods, very much depending on the flow of the song; opener ‘The Trooper’ is haunting take on the Iron Maiden classic, and serves very well as a light introduction to Hellsongs. It’s perhaps the song most similar to its original on the album, and does well to ease you into a state of mind where you are not making expectations of what the Swedish trio will do. Such a state of mind is required as soon as the next track, ‘Symphony of Destruction’, begins; an upbeat and chirpy track, characterized by its rolling piano lines, it can easily make one imagine Dave Mustaine wearing small overalls and playing on the swings. The tracks can be divided roughly between the radiant and sanguine tracks, the moody and solemn tracks, and everything in between. Once past the opening two songs, Hymns in the Key of 666
gives nothing but surprises. Slayer’s ‘Season in the Abyss’, Metallica’s ‘Blackened’ and Iron Maiden’s ‘Run to the Hills’are but just some examples of covers where Hellsongs have completely changed the structure of the original song, perhaps keeping only certain melodies and the lyrics. It’s a wonderful formula, and the band has done a superb job of it. Special mention needs to be made of vocalist Harriet Ohlsson; the variance in the mood of the album rests almost completely on her shoulders, yet she directs each song with a sense of grace and finesse that is really remarkable. Besides the fact that it was such an innovative idea and that it paid off extraordinarily well, Hymns in the Key of 666
is an album that will always retain its personal meaning; the album is like magic to your ears, and its magic seems to never die. Highly recommended.