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Unholy Ground: Above so below

26/05/09  ||  HailandKill

In most circles ‘girl-fronted power metal’ has the same appeal as watching Battlefield Earth on DVD (and perhaps reading the book as well). Would you, dear reader, want to spend three hours of your life immersed in L. Ron Hubbard’s* masterwork? HailandKill thinks you’d prefer masturbating. Or sex. For three hours. Delicious.

This is not to say the four-song demo ‘Above So Below’ from Australia’s Unholy Ground is its genre’s equivalent of Battlefield Earth, a movie that has long since set the lowest possible standard for science fiction adaptations. So the verdict is ‘absolutely not!’ it’s the wrong analogy, dude. All HailandKill is trying to say is few people take ‘girl-fronted power metal’ seriously. There are just too many skeptics out there who will sneer at even the slightest mention of such a subgenre. Besides, everyone would rather settle for Nightwish since they’re the total sex, even if Lord K loathed their 2007 mas-turd-piece. (HailandKill almost spelled ‘masturbate’ there; what is wrong with him?)

On to the material at hand now: setting their record straight, Unholy Ground’s appeal isn’t in over-synthesized up-tempo tunes or a smoking hot singer. (That would be Benedictum, whose Amazon warrior-ress of a frontwoman has this huge voice matched by an enormous set of hooters; rrrrrrrraaaaaawwww!!! Oh wait, she’s married. Sorry.) To the band’s credit, their musicianship is spot on and the songwriting, while not the most original, isn’t sunk in the pits of cheese. The real problem with ‘Above So Below’ is the cruddy production that drowns out Ms. Erin Jones’ (who has since left the band) high notes and muddles the guitars. It’s as if the band’s supposedly epic sound was filtered through a toilet bowl and then pressed into CD.

As for the songs, opener and title track ‘Above So Below’ combines beautiful acoustics with the suave of Kamelot. It’s got the lyrics, chorus, melody, and whatever else a decent power metal song with a female touch should have. ‘Faith’ launches off with a lot more menace but evens out once Ms. Jones starts singing. Fans of Helloween and Halford cannot fail to appreciate the gutsy old-school charm of ‘Secrets,’ a song that borrows so much from its European forebears. The last offering ‘Demon Seed’ is bound to draw the ire of metalheads for being so-metal-yet-so-pop-catchy, it’s good corny sh*t though.

In summation, while this is a serious demo, it’s the kind of release the staff here at GD would love to collectively piss on.

What’s that you say? This actually gets a score?

Okay, 6 L. Ron Hubbard’s out of 10.

*Personally, HailandKill is fascinated by how an obscure pulp writer and researcher founded a multimillion-dollar religion sponsored by Tom Cruise. What did Ronnie have that nobody else didn’t?

  • Information
  • Label: Self released
  • Website: www.unholy-ground.com
  • Band
  • Erin Jones: vocals
  • Matt Corrie: guitar
  • Josh ‘Monsta’ Till: guitar
  • Dave Redford: bass
  • Dean Morrisey: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Above so below
  • 02. Faith
  • 03. Secrets
  • 04. Demon seed