Screams in the Night

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Released in 1987, Screams in the Night was Hellion's first full-length LP -- and it was also an album that Ann Boleyn, Hellion's founder/lead vocalist and the owner of New Renaissance Records, wasn't entirely satisfied with. In interviews she described Screams as a "good record," but complained that it was more representative of guitarist Chet Thompson's vision for the band than her own. Their original lineup had broken up in 1986, and by the time this album was recorded the following year, Boleyn had assembled a new lineup that united her with Thompson, bassist Alex Campbell, and drummer Greg Pecka. Screams, it turned out, would be the only recorded documentation of that lineup, which was history by 1988. Despite the tension between Boleyn and Thompson, this is a generally decent album -- although not a fantastic one. Fantasy metal offerings like "Put the Hammer Down" and "Better Off Dead" aren't bad, but it's obvious that the two lack the type of strong musical chemistry that band members should have. As a result, this release falls short of essential and is only recommended to Hellion's most diehard fans.