Review AUDREY HORNE ‘Devil’s Bell’

Bergen-based rock’n’roll outfit Audrey Horne belongs to the top of the European hard rock bands and six albums speak the clear language of rock’n’roll. High energy and an unbound passion for their music is what makes the band stand out.

Four years after having unveiled their latest album to date, ‘Blackout’, the agenda of everybody involved allowed work on their next record which will hit the shelves in April this year. ‘Devil’s Bell’ is the title of the album, a longplayer that features nine songs of which ‘Ashes to Ashes’ marks the starting point.

‘Devil’s Bell’ combines the best from the ‘70s and ‘80s sound and presents a great level of variation. The passion for hard rocking music is the glue that keeps everything together on this stellar record. As mentioned, ‘Ashes to Ashes’ is opening the album and guitar spreads a surprisingly metallic shimmer. It’s a dark beginning of the album and ‘80s based metal is more present than rock. It fits Audrey Horne very well and shows a band that never stands still.

To show the versatility of the album right from the beginning, that band placed ‘Animal’ on position number two on the tracklist. This time, the spirit of rock is the driving element. Combined with the sing-along inviting ‘ohohoh’-parts the song has a wildness of punk without being a real punk rock song. And the journey continues.

I guess the band listened to some Ozzy Osbourne stuff over the last years because ‘Break Out’ shows a lot of cross-references. It might be even a bit too much inspiration but who cares. The song sounds great.

The title track is another blistering example when it comes to the entertainment factor of the album. The galloping rock/metal hybrid is a great moment on the album with a few details that blossom after a while. The song might not be love on first sight but spreads a fascination right away. The beat-focused ‘All is Lost’ is a good tune but stands in the shadows of some of the other tracks.

The higher paced riff attack is called ‘Toxic Twins’, a thundering song, leading to the closer ‘From Darkness’. The latter is with a seven-minute running time the longest one on the album and in case you expect a soulful half-ballad I need to disappoint you. The tune is another example for the great songwriting skills of the band with some twists, helping the song to keep the excitement-level up high. The atmospheric middle section creates a certain contrast to the wild beginning and cinematic walk towards the finishing line.

I had high expectations when it comes to the new Audrey Horne album and those are surely met, if not even exceeded. The quintet from Bergen added another exquisite piece of music to their list of achievements, an album, being a treat for every fan of good rock and metal music. Very cool.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Ashes to Ashes
  2. Animal
  3. Break Out
  4. Return to Grave Valley
  5. Danse Macabre
  6. Devil’s Bell
  7. All is Lost
  8. Toxic Twins
  9. From Darkness

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Hard Rock / Metal

Release Date EU: April 22nd, 2022

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Photo: Promo studio Hara

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