Label: ROAR! Playing Time: 40 Min Release: 28th May 2021
There are so called super groups, whose purpose I do not quite understand. Hellryder are such a super group, consisting of Chris Boltendahl and Axel Ritt (both Grave Digger), Steven Wussow (Orden Ogan, ex-Xandria) and Tim Breideband (Bonfire). Concerning the sound, there are a lot of parallels to Grave Digger, not only due to Chris’ unique vocals. In comparison, Hellryder sound a bit rougher, more riff and less melody orientated and they do not use choirs at all. This is what they call „dirty kick ass Heavy Metal“. I, in return, would describe it as a mixture of early Grave Digger with the dirt und the punk attitude of Motörhead. There is not much space for virtuosity, which is also the reason why most of the songs are quite short. Most of them do not even reach three minutes.
If you find my description attractive, you will not be disappointed by „Devil is a Gambler“. It is obvious that those Heavy Metal veterans are capable of composing good songs and also perform them well. But I also have to admit that in my opinion there’s some deficit in terms of quality from song five to seven. That is a forth of all song material, a few too many in my opinion. And so is my overall judgement: „Devil is a Gambler“ is okay, but it is not a hell ride. As I said before: I don’t get the purpose of those super groups…