Sep 032012

Here’s another daily round-up of metal things I saw and heard this morning that I thought were worth sharing. Fair warning: there is clean singing in the first two items, but it’s counter-balanced by harsh vocals and an overlay of darkness.


I came to metal relatively late in life. I’ve devoted a lot of effort catching up on what I missed in the decades preceding my initiation. One of the bands I missed was Wichita-based Manila Road, though judging from the enthusiasm that greeted our report about the band’s scheduled appearance at MARYLAND DEATHFEST 2013, it seems many of our readers are quite familiar with them.

This item, however, is not about Manila Road. It’s about a side project created by Manila Road’s Mark “The Shark” Shelton. The band is called Hellwell, the album is named Beyond the Boundaries of Sin, and it will be released this month by High Roller Records and Shadow Kingdom Records — though it’s already up on Bandcamp. Shelton describes it as “like Manilla Road’s evil twin”, with a sound that resembles “a cross between Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, early Metallica and Manilla Road.”

The band is named after Ernest “Ernie” Cunningham Hellwell, who Shelton says is a writer of horror-themed fiction and plays keyboards, synthesizers, and bass on Hellwell’s debut album. I am somewhat skeptical about whether Hellwell is a real person as opposed to the alter ego of someone else, because I can find nothing about him in my net sleuthing, either as a writer or as a musician.

In any event, I was attracted to the music by the awesome cover art (above) by Alexander von Wieding, and this morning I listened to about half of the album on Bandcamp. Continue reading »