Hellion - Karma's A Bitch (HNE/Cherry Red Records)

The only problem I can find with Karma's A Bitch, the new release from Hellion, is it's only an EP so it feels like an entree and I'm hungrier than that, give me a main course!
Release Date: 
6 Oct 2014 - 12:01pm

Hellion is one of those eighties bands that deserved to be so much bigger than they were (or are) and on their latest release, an EP entitled Karma’s A Bitch they prove that they are still a metal force to be reckoned with.

The only remaining original member is Ann Boleyn, the vocalist, who has kept the dream alive through the years. She has been joined by Simon Wright on drums (AC/DC, Dio and Rhino Bucket), Bjorn Englen on Bass (Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Dio Disciples and Tony Macalpine), Maxxxwell Carlisle on guitar (Deathriders) and Scott Warren on keys (Dio and Heaven & Hell). As you can see from the players Ann has surrounded herself with, she means business with this latest incantation of the band and they fuckin deliver! 

First song off the EP, Betrayer, starts off with some nice acoustic playing with eerie keys behind it, before Anne kicks in with one hell of a wail and the band explodes in a ferocious speed metal inferno. This is an awesome start to this release and shows that Hellion still have the (ahem – sorry Ann) balls to rip in with the best of them. Carlisle plays his nuts off on this tune; the solo is a thing of wild beauty.

The title track doesn’t have the same wallop as the opening song but that in no way makes it a poor song, it’s one of those tunes that makes you want to stand splay legged, throwing horns in the air and banging along in time to the riff. Hell Has No Fury has a bit of an Ozzy feel to it, and gallops along on a nice heavy riff again with some adroit touches by Carlisle. Watch The City Burn is up next and is a stompingly good tune and Rockin’ Till The End brings proceedings quite gloriously to a disappointing end (because it’s the last track on the album and I want more damn it). I love how this tune closes out the album with its slow breakdown and paroxysmal lead guitar.

Ann would have to be one of the strongest female vocalists in metal; she rips in and leaves nothing behind in her banshee like performance on Karma’s a Bitch. While well respected in metal circles for her work with other artists (predominantly in her capacity as a label owner where she worked with Sepultura, Bathory, Flotsam and Jetsam, Morbid Angel et al) Ann and Hellion never really had the commercial success they were due. She has done an amazing job in pulling the players together for this release; they’re all very good at what they do.

You could do a hell of a lot worse than adding this little gem to your collection, and perhaps while you’re at it you might think about picking up some of the earlier Hellion recordings. The devil knows Ann deserves some success.