Highlord – Freakin’ Out Of Hell

Highlord – Freakin’ Out Of Hell
Rockshots Records
Release Date: 09/12/22
Run Time: 51:00
Review by Laura Barnes

Do you like Power Metal? Like, Power Metal with a capital ‘P’? Power Metal that makes you feel like an armour-clad knight with a sword larger than a small child? Cuz if you do, then you’re gonna have to accept a late entry into your ‘Best Albums of 2022’ list. Highord’s “Freakin’ Out Of Hell” is a no-filler, start to finish banger. It burns white-hot with passion and glory. To put it in one, Power-Metal-esque word, “Freakin’ Out Of Hell” is a triumph.

Highlord make what you might consider to be a traditional kind of power metal. Entirely free of gimmicks and jam-packed with solos, Highlord are far more Manowar than Gloryhammer. Their song writing is sophisticated, anthemic, and filled with surprises. In “Freakin Out Of Hell”, Highlord strike a perfect balance between showing off their technical prowess (see the off-kilter riffage of ‘The Devil’s Doorbell’ and the eclectic structural approach to ‘Off The Beaten Path’) and writing songs with emotional depth and story (see the thoughtful expressions of loss on ‘Hollow Space’ – which also surprised me with a brilliant acoustic guitar solo). Instrumentally, “Freakin’ Out Of Hell” is about as badass as badass gets, with chord progressions and soaring riffs that could be ripped straight from an anime boss battle; Highlord’s heart can be heard beating in Marco Malacarne’s guitar strings. That said, Andrea Marchisio’s vocals are the icing on top of the epic metal cake. They add so much character and storytelling to Highlord’s songs that really take their music to the next level. On my favourite track, ‘Sweet Unknown’, Marchisio offers an inspiring performance as he sings about self-doubt. His sincere performance means that these unique lyrics pack an even greater punch, particularly the chorus: ‘So many years I’ve spent with a sense of impending / Disaster in my life / Those years have gone forever / Yet the disaster never came / Time to dive into the sweet unknown’. This simple yet honest reflection of anxiety is the sort of insight that is hard to come by in Power Metal, but it works. 

Title track ‘Freakin’ Out Of Hell’ is another song that packs an emotive punch. With a doom-laden, downbeat verses, a soaring chorus, subtle usage of synths, and themes of determination and blurry lines of morality, Highlord showcase all of Power Metal’s potential. Later on, ‘Off The Beaten Path’ and ‘If You Say Yes’ include brief symphonic elements that adds a diversity of sound to the album, without drifting into gimmicky territory. These tracks, and the album as a whole, present Highlord as a band that are both confident in their abilities and wise enough to know when to reign it in and when to pull out all the stops. With an output like this, it’s no surprise that Highlord have been going strong for over 20 years!

01. Prelude To Hell
02. Soul Sucker
03. Freakin’ Out Of Hell
04. Sweet Unknown
05. Off The Beaten Path
06. Hollow Space
07. If You Say Yes
08. Eyes Open Wide
09. The Devil’s Doorbell
10. Fallen From Grace
11. One Eyed Jack

Andrea Marchisio – Vocals
Marco Malacarne – Guitars
Luca ‘T-1000’ Pellegrino – Drums
Massimiliano Flak – Bass
Davide Cristofoli – Keyboards


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Laura Barnes and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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