Grave Digger’s Chris Boltendahl and Axel Ritt are well-known musicians, from the German metal scene, and decided to form this band, to express their creative side, in a way they couldn’t do in their previous bands. They wanted to express metal in its beginning, in the most powerful way possible, that’s why they’ve baptized their music “dirty kick ass heavy metal”! Hellryder starts where Motörhead had stopped some years ago and offers what the prominent British and German bands, like Motörhead, Accept and much more, have been offering. The title track is what opens this record and hits the road. It delivers harsh vocals by Chris and beefy guitars, played by Axel. It seems we are riding a bike, with a chorus charged with Motörhead in it. And what a guitar solo! “Sacrifice In Paradise” is more aggressive. It increases the volume, as it blazes a trail of flames. It has one of the most satisfying riffs the listener will ever listen to and Timmi Breideband (Gregorian, ex-Bonfire, ex-Freedom Call) plays the drums like the devil. A melodic heavy metal riff opens “Night Rider”. You can easily headbang to it and the chant style chorus will be amazing in concerts - if you go see these dudes, make sure they sing this tune! Ah, finally, a mid tempo tune - “The Devil Is A Gambler” is a true highlight and is a Judas Priest- like groove. Let’s salute this bold anthem of pure magnitude! A more flowing, full flight with a faster velocity is what you’ll get with “Jekyll & Hyde”, specially with the crazy bass, played by Steven Wussow (Orden Ogan, ex-Domain, ex-Xandria). “Faceless Jesus” adds a rock n’ roll spirit into metal, which combine so very amazingly! It’s a blast of emotions, mid tempo and tapping! “Chainsaw Lilly” is a race off, with a bit of punk in it, that reminds of Lemmy. If you think that “I Die For You” is a ballad, then think again! it’s a hustler that will keep you without air! Wait, what? Alice Cooper, is that you? The first thirty seconds of “Bad Attitude” sound like “School’s Out”, but after that, it keeps on hustling! Highly melodic! Slowing the tempo to a foot stomp, you’ll get “Passion Maker”. It has a more kind of blues tune, with a swagger vibe. Very majestic. “Harder Faster Louder” is faster than a bullet, full of anger and it’s the fastest track of them all. “I Don't Wanna Die” is the bonus track and it is a Domain cover song (Domain is Ritt’s other band), which was released on “Before The Storm” (1989), Domain’s second album. They’ve kept its originality, but added Hellryder’s identity and sound. The varying pace and tempo of the album is addictive, you don’t have a clue which direction you’re going in next, which makes this album so mysterious! Listen to it and you’ll understand why!

♦ 8/10

Raquel Miranda