|Translation:||Crypt Of Fear|
Finnish HMS Keelhaul don't consider themselves a band, but a crew, whose ship sailed in 2013 and is in the midst of their musical journey. After many twists, turns and storms, their debut "Anchord" has finally seen the light of the day thanks to the collaboration with Inverse Records and shipped up to my desk/kitchen table.
A heavy metal sound with a hint of hard rock and, why not, a vague sprinkling of power metal are the main influences you'll find dealing with this "Anchord", even if the first thing I thought while listening to the intro of the opener "Be Gone" was melodic death metal, which we'll find again in the vocals and instrumentals, not necessarily at the same time. There's no lack of energy or varied choruses, but I have to admit that these ones are the weak link of the songs: probably due to a mixing problem, the fact is that almost in every track the main vocals doesn't seem balanced with the rest of the choirs, mainly in terms of volume. You can't say the result is poor at all, I think though that if this aspect was improved the quality of the songs would have risen. Instead, the alternation between clean parts and some growls (these are part of the melodic death metal influences mentioned above) is good, especially in "Hand Of Death", "Fall To The Floor" (where the vocal section makes me think to "-core" territories) — and "Arch Enemies" that is the heaviest track in the album, where the heavy metal is put aside by harder and distorted instrumental passages.
The sixth track, "Missing Piece", is a ballad worthy of the best Eighties; decade we find again in a totally different hard rock guise, in the next "Rock 'N' Roll". "Lighthouse of Life"'s intro, that reappears often during the song, makes me think to a pirate ship ready for a raid, a fire-arm is charged more than once in "Back In The Game" and "Seven Years" is a hymn to everything that could have been but wasn't.
There's something to improve but — being this a debut — I'd say "Anchord" has the potential to raise the interest of the cited genres enthusiasts. Keep on sailing!