Krokus – Hellraiser (2006)

Krokus - Hellraiser

Krokus – Hellraiser (2006, Locomotive Records/AFM Records)

  1. Hellraiser
  2. Too Wired To Sleep
  3. Hangman
  4. Angel Of My Dreams
  5. Fight On
  6. So Long
  7. Spirit Of The Night
  8. Midnite Fantasy
  9. No Risk No Gain
  10. Turnin’ Inside Out
  11. Take My Love
  12. Justice
  13. Love Will Survive
  14. Rocks Off!

Band Lineup:
Marc Storace – Vocals
Mandy Meyer – Lead Guitar
Stefan Schwarzmann – Drums
Dominique Favez – Rhythm Guitar
Tony Castell – Bass

Total Time – 56:01

Krokus official website

Marc Storace and company give another kick at the cat with the new offering – HELLRAISER. I thought that 2003’s ROCK THE BLOCK was one solid comeback album for Marc Storace and (then) lead guitarist Fernando Von Arb. Their brand of boogie woogie Hard Rock, comparisons to AC/DC abound, still held up after years of personnel changes and lackluster material since 1990. Krokus was enjoying their first successful U.S. released album and tour in 15 years but Fernando Von Arb abruptly retired and former Krokus guitarist Mandy Meyer filled the vacancy. Add former Accept drummer, Stefan Schwarzmann, and the foundation of the new Krokus is solidly built.

HELLRAISER is an album that, at first listen, seems very long. Clocking in just under an hour doesn’t seem too long but, when there is some average filler mixed in with more than a few solid tracks, the listener gets that “Haven’t I heard this before?” vibe. Once you’ve given the album a few spins, you realize that this is just the way Krokus does business: it’s pure ’80s party Rock. Yes, it sounds like AC/DC and Accept mixed together. Yes, it sounds dated. This is what makes Krokus who they are, never straying from the style they’ve always had.

The opening track, ‘Hellraiser’, sets an immeadiate Hard Rock party feel. It sounds like ’80s Krokus circa HARDWARE (1981) or ONE VICE AT A TIME (1982). ‘Too Wired To Sleep’ and ‘Hangman’ continue the good times with plenty of solos, hooks, and melodies. If you’re not singing along by now, you don’t get it.

‘Angel Of My Dreams’ is a decent ballad but ‘So Long’ is much better. You can feel the song much like you could feel 1983’s classic ‘Screaming In The Night’. ‘Spirit Of The Night’ has to be the fastest Krokus song I’ve heard in years. Very much like Accept and/or U.D.O., probably due to Schwarzmann’s contributions, ‘Spirit Of The Night’ boasts some powerful drumming and lightning guitar.  Other highlights on this platter include: ‘Fight On’ and ‘Midnite Fantasy’. All the songs past this are basically interchangeable, maybe if two or three were cut you’d have a more cohesive album.

Bottom Line:
When your first eight songs are outstanding, it’s hard to call the album a dud. Any band recording this type of music today would kill to have three or four solid tracks in a row let alone eight. On those eight songs alone, I can say that HELLRAISER is truly a fine album.  It’s not that the last six songs are bad, I just think that you could cut any three and the album would be better for it. Like I mentioned before, sometimes a few “fillers” can spoil the cohesiveness of what is a really good Rock album.  Favorite tracks: ‘Hellraiser’, ‘Too Wired To Sleep’, ‘So Long’, and ‘Spirit Of The Night’.

5 comments on “Krokus – Hellraiser (2006)

  1. Long time Krokus fan, back around Metal Rendez-vous, Hardware, and One Vice At A Time. Those are some great albums.

    Krokus was great up until The Blitz, that’s where they started to falter. Check out Rock The Block (the album before this one), its awesome.

  2. I think that HEART ATTACK from 88 is also a very strong album that sound again very much like THE BLITZ. To be honest, i liked their CHANGE OF ADDRESS album.
    STAMPEDE is great too from 1991.
    Yes, i agree, ROCK THE BLOCK was great too and i think that their new album is very similar in sound and quality. HAIL TO KROKUS.

  3. HEART ATTACK is a good album but it is no where near the level of HEADHUNTER. I guess the bottom line is that Krokus puts out good material. They may never achieve the greatness of the early ’80s but they will keep on trying.

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