Hell is for the Hopeful

CRUCIFER

CRUCIFER are true veterans of the Metal scene. The band was created back in 1990 […]
April 1, 2024

CRUCIFER are true veterans of the Metal scene. The band was created back in 1990 (initially under the name KILLER INSTINCT) and released two full-length albums: "Festival of Death" in 1992 and "Pictures of Heaven" in 1993. They disbanded in 1994 and now, after 30 years, CRUCIFER are back in the game with their third record "Hell is for the Hopeful". The line-up includes the original members from 1990: Jeff Riddle on vocals/drums, Brian Ronquest on guitars/vocals and Steve Snyder on bass/vocals.

The album starts with an excerpt from Hellraisor: "Pain has a face, allow me to show it to you" after which "Soul Within" kicks in. CRUCIFER play aggressive and heavy Thrash metal with plenty of double-bass drumming, speedy guitar riffing and the raw vocals of drummer/vocalist Jeff Riddle. The opening track is a pure headbanger and it truly "tears your soul apart" as Hellraisor would say. The following "Green With Envy" is more mid-tempo but still very energetic, an angry song dedicated to those whose greed for material things is what drives them in life. I can hear some strong EXODUS influence on that one but unlike EXODUS, CRUCIFER's vocals are more to my taste. "Deity in Black" reminds me a bit of OVERKILL but with an impressive moment of short blastbeats mixed with sounds from rifle shots. I guess that shots are aimed at the children with competely black eyes who are the subject of the song. "Arbeit Macht Frei" is another mid-tempo headbanger that is against descrimination based on race or ethnicity (hence the title). "

Veinglory" opens up with the famous quote from "Dawn of the Dead" - "When there is no more room in hell..." and then grows into a thrashing track with some synth sounds that help to create an ominous atmosphere. The synth sound is present again in the following "Pearls Before Swine" while "Sickly Divine" has a stoner rock guitar riff that works well mixed with the Thrash heaviness. "Laughing as I Suffer" has a certain CORONER vibe from their more experimental period (the "Grin" era), the same can be said about "Beneficence in Grace" which offers some dark synth passages behind the Thrash riffs. Then comes "Vamahara" which has everything - energetic tempo, crazy guitar leads and Hellraisor samples. The final closing track of this album is a Gary Numan cover of the song "Airlane" which is a New Wave track where the synth and bass are the main instruments and there are no vocals (I don't know if it is like that in the original tune).

"Hell is for the Hopeful" is a decent return album played by experienced musicians who have a taste for the experiment and aren't following blindly the Metal cliches. CRUCIFER are very good at what they do and you should check them out if you feel like listening to some unorthodox Thrash attack!

7 / 10

Good

Songwritting

7

Musicianship

7

Memorability

7

Production

7
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"Hell is for the Hopeful" Track-listing:

1. Soul Within
2. Green with Envy
3. Deity in Black
4. Arbeit macht frei
5. Vainglory
6. Pearls Before Swine
7. Sickly Divine
8. Laughing as I Suffer
9. Beneficence in Grace
10. Vamachara
11. Bury the Breathless
12. Airlane (Gary Numan cover)

CRUCIFER Lineup:

Jeff Riddle - vocals/drums
Brian Ronquest - guitars/vocals
Steve Snyder - bass/vocals

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