Blessed Hellride may hail from the Moselle region of southwestern Germany, but they sound like they were spawned on the dusty highways of suvern California, the bastard outlaw (sic) sons of Zakk Wylde hosting a gang bang with a female biker club while the throttle is still full open and the resulting offspring ejaculated at 100 mph with guitars already in their hands and attitudes in serious need of adjustment.
In fact, the connection with Zakk Wylde, while not physical, is certainly more than metaphorical. Not only do they take their name from Black Label Society’s fourth album, but almost everything else about them mimics the guitarist, from their dress code to their logo – and even the very font they use on their album cover. But, they unashamedly admit and flaunt that influence, wearing it proudly on their sleeves more prominently than a freshly inked tattoo.
That’s not to say that this, their debut album, is a pure BLS/Wylde rip off. Because it’s not. Yes, it IS very firmly rooted in that southern heavy rawk sound. Yes, it DOES possesss that heavy bottom-ended tone that Wylde has spent years perfecting. And, YES, it does mix dark and shade in almst the same way the band’s collective hero does so well. BUT, it also an album which most definitely possesses its own identity, and stands, loudly and proudly, on its own two feet.
‘Bastards & Outlaws’ is packed to the brim with huge, crunching riffs, which broil and seethe with the venomous intent of a provoked rattlesnake, backed by rhythms which punch harder than Ali and Frazier combined and topped off with a vocal so acidic it could strip walls just by Tiny Fuel thinking about opening his throat. You can virtually smell the kerosene oozing from the speakers and sense the cordite from the freshly struck match which makes this album an incendiary rock ‘n’ roll experience.
Intro / Helldorado / Devil’s Ride / Goddamn Hippie / Papa Joe / Blessed Hellride / Blood Red River / Moonshine Saloon / Overdrive Junkies / Dead Man’s Blues / Gevtter Tom / Shame On You / Bastards & Outlaws
Recommended listening: Goddamn Hippie / Dead Man’s Blues
‘Bastards & Outlaws’ is out now on Rodeostar/SPV.