Once Upon A Time... In Hell!


Mostly we hear of stories like those of Belgian band DRAKKAR in Argentinean soap operas […]
By Omnius D'Worgen
April 21, 2015
Drakkar - Once Upon A Time... In Hell! album cover

Mostly we hear of stories like those of Belgian band DRAKKAR in Argentinean soap operas (don't lie, I know you watch 'em) - a band that went through several breakups and reunions that now at last returns with a (hopefully) permanent line-up and a new record to show for it.

Released three long years after the band's last release, a remastered version of their debut album aptly dubbed "X-Rated Reloaded", I must say the beginning of the album underwhelmed me somewhat. Everything's ok; nothing to write home about, as the saying goes.

The album truly finds its voice somewhere around the middle, where it puts some very solid tracks out there for you: cool fast-paced riffs, great singing, blazing solos - the works. Finally, what you might have expected from a band with quite a bit more than a few notches on its belt. From there it catches a heavy middle-eastern vibe for a couple of songs which really cool, but fades very fast into more traditional Heavy Metal tunes, and kind of leaving you confused as to what happened and have you accidently skipped into a different record for a while.

Some might say three guitarists is too much ego for one band to handle, but DRAKKAR manage this very complicated sonic environment great. Blazing solos are prominent throughout the record (and a solo leading into and over the last chorus of a song is a classic that will never go out of style). At some places, though, it seems as though the third guitarist is lost somewhere in the sonic space.

All in all, my main beef with this particular piece of Heavy Metal is inconsistency. Too many cool ideas that don't really go well with each other, too many parts where you wonder if your player hasn't accidently gone "shuffle" on you. Every song in and of itself is decent at the very least and very good at some cases, but put together it leaves much to be desired. Maybe next time...

6 / 10

Had Potential

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"Once Upon A Time... In Hell!" Track-listing:

1. Enter The Darkness
2. Once Upon A Time... In Hell
3. Lost
4. Angels Of Stone
5. Yerushalayim
6. Saint Bartholomew's Night
7. Jubilation At The King Nimrod's Court
8. Babel
9. Scream It Loud!
10. Never Give Up
11. War
12. A Destiny That Does Not Heal
13. What's Going On?
14. Epilogue

Drakkar Lineup:

Fabrice "Lenny" Vanbellingen - Vocals
Richard "Righty" Tiborcz - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Patrick "Pat" Thayse - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Thierry Delcane - Guitar
Thierry "Tytus" Dupont - Bass, Backing Vocals
Jonas "Jo" Sanders - Drums

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