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motorjesus hellbreaker
Artist: Motorjesus
Title: Hellbreaker
Genre: Hard Rock / Classic Metal
Release Date: 9th April 2021
Label: AFM Records


Album Review

In existence since 1992, Mönchengladbach’s MOTORJESUS are a band that have deserve a lot more recognition than they have been given over the last three decades. Now on the brink of releasing their 7th Studio album entitled ‘Hellbreaker’, and following on from 2020s ‘Live Resurrection’ that was recorded on the road whilst still being able to tour, they emphasise the phrase “If I ain’t broke, then don’t fix it”, to maximum effect with retro influences and a modern sound, achieving that difficult balancing act particularly well.

Opening track ‘Drive Through Fire’ is blistering and straight to the point. If you’ve never heard the band before, think MOTÖRHEAD but with a Southern Rock vibe and early IRON MAIDEN style energy and this a great track which instantly makes you think of bikers & car drivers tearing down Route 66 well above the speed limit. ‘Battlezone’ keeps up the speed with 80s Metal noodling on guitars provided by Andy Peters & Patrick Wassenburg, the latter of which is making his debut with the band on this release as part of their new line-up. With the final lyrics of this number being ‘Welcome to the Battlezone’, it’s almost like the song was written as a welcoming for their latest member. The title track, I was lucky enough to be sent for my weekly radio show a while ago and ‘Hellbreaker’ speaks of determination, inner strength and breaking out for freedom. Three tracks in, three home runs so far.

‘Beyond The Grave’ takes a darker, with a much more sinister vibe with being the heaviest and grittiest song so far and more a Post Grunge / Stoner vibe that wouldn’t sound out of place on a GODSMACK record and a superb piece of Radio Rock. In comparison ‘Dead Rising’ is lighter, punkier and much more upbeat. The relentless speed of this album where again, both guitarists are trading lead & rhythm duties and how Chris “Howling” Birx can deliver his vocals with so much speed, melody and execution simultaneously is a delight to listen to. Adam Borosch also provides German efficiency behind the drums, and whilst not being particularly flash with his playing, does the job very well.

The middle point of this record ‘Car Wars’ lacks depth but as a transition track from the 1st to the 2nd half of the album, it works ok but is a bit of a filler compared to what has come before it. As the weakest song on this record, this only helps show how strong the rest of the album is. ‘Firebreather’ has a bass intro and groove and finally an opportunity to hear what Dominik Kwasny can provide. It’s nice to see a song on the album which has been built around his playing. ‘Lawbreaker’ picks up the pace again, finishing off with a very pleasant acoustic outro & clocking in at 5:04 is the 2nd longest track on the album (only opening track ‘Drive Through Fire is longer than this) and keeping the rest of the songs on the album, short-ish and sharp works brilliant. ‘Black Hole Overload’ instantly paints the picture of Adults celebrating & having a good time in a saloon bar in one of the southern parts of the United States. Another appearance from the acoustic guitar shows up here, this time being the build up to more superb guitar soloing before a final chorus. Penultimate track ‘Back to the Bullet’ sounds like the actual ending with its speed and “get back to work” mindset however this is a slight red herring as it’s followed straight on the acoustic instrumental ‘The Outrun’ which helps the listener take stock of the entire 44 minutes & 26 seconds that all together completes this LP. 

There’s so many potential anthems on this album which you can imagine being sung in arena’s and at festival’s, it makes one wonder how MOTORJESUS have gone under the radar for so many for so long. This is an absolutely superb record which bridges Hard Rock & Classic Metal which takes inspiration from other sub-genres without ever going off on a tangent or losing focus. A lot of credit for this has to go to the album producer Dan Swano for helping the band members focus on what they are great at, but also to the band themselves for executing this set of songs so well. For fans of PHIL CAMPBELL & THE BASTARD SONS, early IRON MAIDEN, old school JUDAS PRIEST, and no-nonsense Hard Rock & Roll. You shall not be disappointed.


Tracklist

01. Drive Through Fire
02. Battlezone
03. Hellbreaker
04. Beyond The Grave
05. Dead Rising
06. Car Wars
07. Firebreather
08. Lawgiver
09. Black Hole Overload
10. Back to the Bullet
11. The Outrun


Line-up

Chris “Howling” Birx – Vocals
Andy Peters – Guitars
Patrick Wassenberg – Guitars
Dominik Kwasny – Bass
Adam Borosch – Drums


Website

http://https://www.motorjesus.net/


Cover Picture

motorjesus hellbreaker


Rating

Music: 9.5
Sound: 9
Total: 9.3 / 10




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