I first came across Immoralizer through the song Lemmy, which, in case you couldn’t guess, was a tribute to the God of Rock ‘n ‘roll who recently left us. And whilst it was great to hear those Motorhead-inspired strains mixing with their own, old-school, rock anthem sound, it is always great when, without the self-imposed sonic constraints, you hear what a band naturally sounds like. I’m Gone, which followed, gave us a nice first taste of that. Gone To Hell is a welcome second helping.
And before I go any further I’ll just clear up the issue of tenses..ie the “it, him, them and their,” sort of thing. Immortalizer, whilst taking a band name, and one totally in keeping with the no-nonsense, classic rock that emanates, is the product of just one man. Dave D.R. is a multi-instrumentalist who, as the video neatly demonstrates, plays drums, bass and guitars as well as providing the vocals. A one-man band in every sense of the meaning. So from now on in this review, I’ll use him rather than them, and you can argue amongst yourselves how many players constitute a band.
And as cool as that is, and it is very cool, what matters is the music. Thankfully, the music is great. An in your face chunk of riotous riffing, rumbling rhythms, bombastic bass and tsunami beats that both kicks arse and cuts the mustard. He even manages to recreate that classic twin-guitar sound, the duelling six-string salvos that served the likes of Thin Lizzy and Wishbone Ash so well. And on top of all that, the boy can sing too.
In some ways, Gone To Hell is the sound of the past. But it is the sound of the past being brushed off, polished up and brought bang up to date. If rock music found its perfect form a long time ago, a point that I mentioned when discussing Immortalizer’s previous single, then all you can do is just get better at working with the accepted form and that is what is going on here. A familiar sound being honed into something that is also fresh and exciting.
We are not creating new genres or travelling anywhere too far off the musical map here, and to some, this may just be a case of re-inventing the wheel. But, what sets it apart is the fact that Dave D. R. is certainly giving that wheel a polish up, an exciting new paint job and a new set of white-walled tires before revving the engine to the point where he wakes up the entire neighbourhood and then heads off down the highway leaving only the smell of burnt rubber and exhaust fumes in his wake.
And why shouldn’t that be enough? Not everything is about kicking down the barriers and exploring new pastures, some of it is about diving for pearls in familiar waters. Gone to Hell is one of those pearls.