"Hellbound" (Rockodrome; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

As you listen to Automag's "Hellbound" the first time through, you'll enjoy it as a 70s style hard rock album, complete with singable melodies, lots of fantastic leads and chugging guitars. You'll find yourself banging your head, singing along and playing a lot of air guitar to this CD. It'll get its hooks into you instantly and won't ever let go.

The second time through, however, take more time. Sit down, put on a pair of headphones and carefully follow the lyrics and story printed in the CD booklet as you play the CD. It's an entirely different experience. Going from a balls-out rock'n'roll record to a genuine concept album (which is just as balls-out, by the way) with a Southern twist, "Hellbound" tells a gripping story that's amazingly clear and well-told. The lyrics from each song are separated by short paragraphs which enhance the story and, by the time you're through, it's almost as though you've sat through a short movie.

Unlike too many concept albums, the tracks on "Hellbound" stand out on their own and don't sound like part of something bigger. At the same time, when you fell like hearing the whole story, the tracks all fit together as well. It's quite an accomplishment and "Hellbound" is a hell of an entertaining record.

Automag: The Mighty Quinn - guitars, vocals; Roger Morton - bass, vocals; Dave Cook - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2023 21:56:13 -0400 .