A high-end primeval nitro-rock music album, with the sole purpose of smashing every living creature that stands on its way just like an enraged road roller machine would do.
Sometimes the Rock N’ Roll played by a band is so loud, filthy and ruthless that the band surpasses the invisible boundaries established by the music industry, becoming respected and loved by the always-demanding diehard Heavy Metal fans. This is what happens with icons such as Motörhead, Volbeat, Crucified Barbara and many other badass bands in the world, and since 2009 we can also include Italian Rock N’ Roll band Helligators on this list so vicious their music is. With that said, if you want to give them a try I suggest you take a listen at their brand new album, entitled Road Roller Machine, and you’ll be able to feel all that Rock N’ Roll electricity flowing through your veins.
Merging elements from different genres and subgenres of rock and metal music, and relying heavily on their deep-rooted Rock N’ Roll/Stoner Rock attitude night and day, this excellent band formed in Rome, Italy returns with more of their immoral music after releasing their debut album Against All Odds, from 2011. It’s interesting to see an Italian band playing what is considered pure American music, but they do it so well you’ll start asking yourself if they’re indeed from Italy or if they’re American guys who left their homeland and are now just living in “il bel paese”. Either way, by the time you find an answer to those questions, you’ll be already addicted to their top-notch heavy music.
The opening track Nomad sounds clearly inspired by the musicality from Motörhead and the badass attitude from Chrome Division, with its nonstop dirty riffs and groovy drumming supporting the rockin’ raspy vocals by Emanuele “Hellvis” and, of course, all embellished by an exciting guitar solo, exactly what is needed in visceral Rock N’ Roll. Not only the initial riff in the next track, The Doomstroyer, a killer Stoner Rock tune with no shenanigans, is 100% kick-ass, but also the atmosphere generated by the guitar lines by Kamo and Mik “El Santo” takes you to some sort of desolated and pungent desert where the music by Helligators reverberates like thunder. And if you’re taking the road anytime soon don’t forget to add Scream to your playlist, a song perfect for enjoying a cold one, banging your head and screaming as loud as you can together with Hellvis and the rest of the crew. Two lessons that can be taken from this track are first that, when they stick to the basics the result is absolutely awesome, and secondly, Kamo is an awesome guitarist who truly knows how to craft the perfect guitar solo the music is asking for.
Listen to She Laughs and you’ll see how much they love Stoner Rock/Metal the likes of Down so heavy and soulful it is, not to mention the song’s lyrics about a sultry demon-like woman, which turn it into another interesting option for a fiery strip-tease at any gentlemen’s club in the world. Then we have the outstanding razin’ tune Snake Oil Jesus, previously released in 2012 as a single, where the band puts the pedal to the metal offering the listener some fuming guitar riffs and solos while drummer Alex fuels the rhythm with his strong beats. In addition, try not to get addicted to its chorus, it’s as catchy as hell (“If you feel so sad and lonely / Pray and give me all your money / I just wanna be your friend / Come Holy Ghost and feed us / I will treat you good I swear / I am the Snake Oil Jesus”).
Rev up your engines because there’s still a lot more awesomeness to come, starting with Truckdriver, a great Rock N’ Roll song where Hellvis lives up to his nickname and its accelerated rhythm and excellent guitar duo will surely please all fans of old school rock music, followed by Swamp Man Voodoo, with elements of the eerie music by Groove Metal icons White Zombie fittting perfectly to the theme of this song. Moreover, it’s a good option for a psychological horror flick soundtrack, with the only letdown being its backing vocals, not as effective as in previous tracks. And when a song is called Bad Ass you know it’s going to be heavy and fun, with Helligators getting back to that low-tuned sonority from Stoner Rock blended with faster Rock N’ Roll and the vocals by Hellvis reminding me of the amazing Eddie Guz, the harsh and inebriate voice of The Carburetors and ex-Chrome Division.
Last but not least, the pub song Stone Crusher is perhaps the most extreme version of their Stoner Rock side, and how about that awesome guitar solo halfway through the song? Although the second half of the song loses part of its electricity, it’s nothing that would make it less entertaining, before the Country Rock semi-acoustic ballad Black Sun closes the album enhanced by huge dosages of feeling and passion by the band members, with highlights to the cool bass lines by Pinna “Yeti”, the song’s doomsday vibe and its melancholic ending. You can listen to a preview of each and every song of Road Roller Machine HERE, where Helligators present the album on the European Metal Channel.
To sum up, Road Roller Machine might not be the most innovative and complex album in the world, but who said it should be so? Helligators do a superb job delivering high-end primeval nitro-rock music, with the sole purpose of smashing every living creature that stands on their way just like an enraged road roller machine would do. If you want to connect with this talented rockin’ machine and know more about their music and tour dates, go check their official Facebook page, and if you’re one of those crazy rockers who salivates whenever you listen to a dirty riff, you can find Road Roller Machine on Amazon or Google Play, among other locations. I honestly doubt you’ll regret purchasing such an incredible feast of Rock N’ Roll like the one offered by Helligators.
Best moments of the album: The Doomstroyer, Scream, Snake Oil Jesus and Truckdriver.
Worst moments of the album: Swamp Man Voodoo and Stone Crusher.
Released in 2015 Sliptrick Records
1. Nomad 5:17
2. The Doomstroyer 5:26
3. Scream 4:29
4. She Laughs 4:55
5. Snake Oil Jesus 3:57
6. Truckdriver 4:10
7. Swamp Man Voodoo 6:21
8. Bad Ass 6:20
9. Stone Crusher 6:14
10. Black Sun 5:02
Emanuele “Hellvis” – lead vocals
Kamo – lead guitar, backing vocals
Mik “El Santo” – guitar, backing vocals
Pinna “Yeti” – bass
Alex – drums