(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
I have always relished the role of a revelator when it comes to discovering a band, one that I believe are exceptional and worthy of attention, and sharing said band with other people. Today, I get to engage that enjoyment once again with news about the Andenes, Norway-based Hellflower. The band just released their four song EP début, “Orange“, on November 24th via Rob Mules Records.
I find myself immensely hopeful that music fans get to hear the effort now that it has gone public too because, to be rather straight to the point, it’s fantastic! The quartet comprising Hellflower are Jon Egil Ellefsen (guitar and vocal), Rikard Waltila Lanesskog (bass), Kristoffer Haraldsvik (drums) and Michael Berglund (guitar). What this foursome do is channel a wide swath of influences from modern Alt. Rock, Grunge, Metal, Post-Rock and more, taking those tints and transmitting some damn fine, emotional music from them.
Things begin with the lighter caress of the title track “Orange“, its intro an airy, melodic slice of atmospheric tranquility. It gradually builds and then cascades over with a wave of immense progressive metal riffs and propelling drums. Solid and magnetic, you feel the pull drawing you in and once the raspy vocals ignite, you too will radiate with the hues of incandescent “Orange“.
Impressive to be sure but this flame has merely been stoked as the blues-infused doom riffs of “Barrel Of The Gun” resonate in full. Chunky rhythms soon bolster them before the guys pull the chair out from under you and one-eighty things entirely. Dialing everything back and letting the vocals take the reins, the song quickly detours into what I can only call commercially alluring awesomeness.
It seems like each track is determined to outdo the one preceding it and thus arrives the metallic, melodic thrash of “Life And Death“. Stick splintering drums fuel some intense heavy moments and then, once again, Hellflower takes things in an immediately instantaneous other direction altogether. Twists, turns, ebbs and flows permeate each moment, all topped off with a powerful vocal performance to boot.
“Just Like Me“, the final song, is the clincher for me with its massive flow, tight winds and enthralling timing changes. The varied tempos and intensities render a palpable feel to it all, its grooves and energy keep you locked in. Driving, pulsing music, phenomenal vocals, intriguing lyrics, this one has it all…plus a hellacious solo!
Like the lyrics in that last number proclaim, “Fuck the old traditions…“, at least when it comes to lackluster aural mediocrity. This is the new shit indeed, people, yes indeed. This is Hellflower and this is their début EP, “Orange“. When all is said, done, played and sung, it and they are going to color you well-pleased, trust me.