“Shadow of the Monster”

By Dr. Abner Mality

For Hell In The Club, it will always be 1988. This Italian band is a pure tribute to the Sunset Strip scene of the late 80’s, even if they do say they have other influences. It is deliberately derivative and cheesy, but by the end of the album, I had to admit, it’s a fun listen.

The band is made of members of prog/power metal bands like Elvenking and Secret Sphere, but you won’t hear any of that here. You will hear Motley Crue, Guns N Roses and Poison style rocking played with modern production and a more polished sound than those original bands had. The riffs here have been around the block more than a 40 year old meth hooker…”DANCE!” opens with a kind of “Dr. Feelgood” groove and the clean vocals sound like a more talented version of Vince Neil. 

The rest of this is as predictable as seeing a crying woman on Dr. Phil, but there’s some nice catchy stuff. The title track is kind of addictive but the second part of the album becomes rather ambitious with the epic “Appetite” and the more ornate “Les Circque des Horreurs” where the ghost of Hell In The Club’s power metal past peeks through. “Try Me, Hate Me” is a good time power rocker and the album predictably closes with the piano ballad “Money Changes Everything”, which Cyndi Lauper had a swing at eons ago.

I guess if you’re in the mood for a total walk down hair metal memory lane, there are a lot worse ways to go than with Hell In The Club. Expect nothing less or more than that.