Helldorados - Lessons In Decay (Massacre Records)

Helldorados sophomore release falls a little flat in places when compared to their debut
Release Date: 
19 Sep 2014 - 12:00pm

This is the second full length album from Germany’s Helldorados and I have to admit to not being all that impressed on the first listen, and because of that it took me a few days to go back for a second and third bite so I could finish the review. I’m pleased to say that with repeat listens Lessons In Decay grew on me, although I didn’t enjoy it as much as their first album simply titled Helldorados.

Lessons In Decay is a bit of a different album to Helldorados, it’s not as in your face hard rockin’ metal, most of the tunes are but others (like Anytime, Anywhere for example) lean more towards an alternative metal vibe and that’s more to do with the vocal delivery than the riffs being played (and it’s these moments where the album falls a little flat for me).

Seven Deadly Sins opens the album and it has a bit of a rockabilly feel to it, the following track In for the Kill starts promisingly but then just sort of meanders along until the double kick hits at the end of the song. By the Progress is like a poor man’s Judas Priest song, think Turbo era. The Devil Takes the Hindmost is an AC/DC kinda rocker but I’m not a fan of the verse melody, it detracts from the rest of the song. Let Us Play again has the Judas Priest riffage happening nicely but then the verse melody just kinda distracts form the cool riff. Megalomaniac ramps the metal back up and is one of the picks of the album with its Megadeth kinda feel (almost).

Wake Up Dead opens with a very familiar riff that sounds like Cinderella’s Shake Me, the rest of the song goes its own way but every time I hear that opening riff I expect Tom Keifer to shout ‘all right’! To Live is to Die smashes along at a good clip horns in the air kinda tempo, and is followed up by Something Sweet which kicks off hard and reminds me of something off of Slave to the Grind, before it gets a little silly in its subject matter and they start singing about sausages with lots of chips…tapping into that irreverent German humour, the same way Tankard do I guess.  We Won’t Back Down closes the album and reminds me of Dookie era Greenday, seems a weird song to close the album out leaving Lessons In Decay to just sort of amble to a finish.

Pierre Seidel has a propensity to kinda sing his lyrics staccato during the verses in a few of these tunes and it sometimes gets a little distracting (think Lips (sans lisp) from Anvil, in fact maybe that’s what I’m finding difficult to embrace about this album as I’m not a fan of Lips delivery and find it distracts me from enjoying the music). Also, some of the gang vocals on here are just inaudible; they’re too muddy and just sound like random shouting at times. Mind you, that could have as much to do with the production on this album as it isn’t doing the band any favours at times. The riffage gets lost sometimes behind the vocals and seem a little muted and muddied throughout, it all seems a little rushed and sometimes the tunes could do with a little more room to breathe. 

Lessons In Decay is not a poor album, but it’s also not one that will be on high rotation at my gaff.