Gonna Raise Hell

Jimmy Ambrose (git), Nars Lopez (dr), Al Garay (keys), Rick Schafer (dr), Dana Albert (voc)
Cover model: Patty McLorey

format: MLP Side A:
  1. Burn Your Eyes
  2. Wasted Youth
  3. Midnite Sun

Side B:

  1. You Gotta Rock
  2. Teenage Overdose
year: 1985
country: USA (UK label)
label: Shades
#: Shade 3
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: 6/10


One wonders if the American Christian right moralists didn't find albums like these a lot more threatening than any Slayer or Venom-album you could think of. How the hell are you gonna keep Hell a scary place to be, if it's portrayed as a scene from "Saturday Night Fever" with guys in spandex and chubby tarts carrying plastic pitchforks?? Yeah, the cover is a riot, but colorful enough with the gold lettering and infernal lightshow to raise an eye or 2. Although it's not an all-out, flawless 5-star record, musically I'd still rate SINFUL's "Gonna Raise Hell" as one of the most underrated US Metal albums. A review in an old issue of Metal Forces first raised my interest. It gave the record a full 10-point rating and wrote something along the lines of "ANGEL meets METALLICA in a dark alley and the white hot ones come out on top". Dunno about that comparison, seeing as it obviously lacks "historical perspective", but the hype sure is well-deserved (even if the Shades/Metal Forces-connection also might have had something to do with it;)

All three songs on the A-side kicks the respective asses of fellow Yanks like RUFFIANS, QUEENSRYCHE (mostly) and Q5, with extra merits to the fantastic "Midnight Sun" - one of those perfect pieces of golden Power/Epic Metal music that NO-ONE of the multitudes of fans of this genre should have to live without. After only hearing this side of the album I was ready to give this a US-top-10 rating in no time, but you never know what kind of hairy, scary shmallad-muppets might lurk around the corner...
Nope, no ballads. "You Gotta Rock" is an OK, LA-style Metal-rocker saved by a pretty sturdy lead-riff, not quite what what I'd wish for but I've heard worse. It's the closing "Teenage Overdose" that ruins the overall performance and cut back SINFUL a full 5 points on the credibility-scale. Why did so many bands around this time think they had to do at least one wimpy FM-rock/a.o.r. song like this on their albums? Well, to get laid I guess. (How utterly untrue of them! Get your priorities straight you pimps!) Still, with the top-standard of the A-side, they can actually be forgiven.

Finally I need to mention the thing that gave SINFUL some extra credit for originality. They used keyboards in a very innovative way, incorporating them in the actual songs and riffing rather than sprinkling icky-sticky fluff on songs good enough without them. Not that this in any way prevented to scare off plenty of "true" Metalheads at the time. Keys in Metal has always been and still is a controversial issue, but these guys did it with plenty of flair and fingerspitzgefühl.

Listen to this record
here. (provided by the Vibrations Of Doom webzine)

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