ALBUM REVIEWS            



Hellions Of Fire

Black Viper are a speed metal band from Norway formed as a solo project in 2013 by Deathhammer drummer Cato. By 2016, Cato had got a band together and released the demo 'Storming With Vengeance'. The bands debut full length offering 'Hellions Of Fire' was released in 2018.    
Norway has a long and proud heritage of producing black metal bands, yet in the shape of Black Viper, black metal is the furthest sound from the bands musical direction. Inspired by the sounds of traditional heavy metal and American power metal, Black Viper fall firmly and squarely into the speed metal genre. With seven songs across forty seven minutes, there are some long songs on offer, the longest chiming in at over ten minutes! The album opens with the title song 'Hellions Of Fire', the first minute or so, more like an intro, but then bam! Explosions galore as 'Hellions Of Fire' launches forth at an extremely fast pace, guitars blazing and a thunderous, galloping rhythm. Get your heads banging, this is top speed, top notch speed metal with a major NWOBHM feel. 'Metal Blitzkrieg' is heavier, faster and flies perilously close to the thrash metal genre and it steams forth. 'Metal Blitzkrieg' is also the shortest song on offer, clocking in at just four and a half minutes, but boy what a song! A breathless opening double shot...    
...continues with pace and purpose as the ten minutes plus epic 'Quest For Power - The Fountain Of Might' lurches forth with speed and intensity. Delivering "foot on the monitor" style heavy metal, Black Viper are an explosive and fiery force. The first three minutes of 'Quest For Power - The Fountain Of Might' is a vocal-less, galloping crescendo building intro that lurches into a mid tempo thud. As 'Quest For Power - The Fountain Of Might' plays out, the pace just gets quicker and quicker. This is classic sounding eighties NWOBHM for the modern day, and is an absolute joy to listen to. Cascading with riffs, 'Storming With Vengeance' steams in and sets a scorching pace as it hurtles along at break neck speed. Taking no prisoners, 'Storming With Vengeance' is full on, high intensity speed metal, head bangingly addictive and is simply breath taking as it flies by...    
...followed by the Angel Witch sounding 'Suspiria', although Angel Witch (NWOBHM icons) were never this fast! Clocking in at under five minutes, 'Suspiria' is an explosive blast of fury, a head bangers dream and is a breathless barrage of speed and power. Pace does not abate one iota as 'Freedom's Reign' explodes into life. Heavily influenced by the iconic NWOBHM sound, 'Freedom's Reign' is fast, furious and highly energetic. Every song on the album has been lively, fiery and played at an extremely high pace, and without even realising how far time has travelled, the final song is heading out of the horizon. 'Nightmare Mausoleum (The Sleeper Must Awaken)' is an epic eight minutes plus in length and keeps the blistering pace of the album going. Furiously full tilt, 'Nightmare Mausoleum (The Sleeper Must Awaken)' is a fabulous ending to a cracking album, an album that sets the earth on fire as it scorches along at a stunningly high speed.    
Overall, fast paced, blistering speed metal with a heavy NWOBHM influence, 'Hellions Of Fire' is a head bangingly infectious "foot on the monitor" rampage.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV