Gandalf - _Rock Hell_
(Wicked World / Earache, 2001)
by: Kirsty Buchanan (
Exceptionally catchy from start through to finish, _Rock Hell_ is at best a consistently themed "classic rock" album with impressive hooks and standout drumming, and at worst a "spot-the-influences" game which lasts no longer than it takes to spell "AC/DC". It's not just in the actual riffs and percussive style that the similarity arises, but also in the stunningly simplistic and formulaic song construction. The opening track "L8X Queen" is a catchy little beast which draws you further into the album, and inevitably to "Geysir". "Geysir" is singularly the reason to own this album. Although simple and of standard structure, it caused me to employ the usually redundant "repeat" function on my stereo -- and why not? AC/DC have managed that way for many years. Gandalf further evolve a ballad based style towards the end of this unspeakable tirade, displaying their unoriginality. Except for "Geysir" -- a true ROCK HELL.
(article published 3/13/2001)
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