Hellion began in 1982, when the term "female metal singer" did not exist. By 1983, Hellion's demo recordings (released as a self-titled Mini-LP) climbed to Number 6 on the UK rock charts. In America, their home, Hellion was regarded by the corporate music world as being "too heavy" for a band with a female singer. With fan support compensating for the backing that the corporate record labels did not provide, Hellion's music not only helped redefine the role of female performers in hard rock and heavy metal, but continues to earn respect among both new and old fans. This 2-CD collection takes listeners on a journey "To Hellion and Back" and includes rare, unreleased, and new Hellion songs in addition to fan favorites. The 2-CD set begins in 1983 with tracks from Hellion's Mini-LP and progressed to the present, with "Hell Has No Fury" (featuring the band's new line-up of Ann Boleyn, Simon Wright, Maxxxwell Carlisle, Scott Warren, and Bjorn Englen). Also included on the collection are rare and unreleased demo recordings including some produced by Ronnie James Dio and engineered by Angelo Arcuri in 1984, and by Ken Scott. This 2-CD anthology includes a 16-page full color booklet. The first pressing is autographed by singer Ann Boleyn.
In the early 1980s, when Ann Boleyn and her band, Hellion, first emerged on the metal music scene, there simply was no other female singer that performed metal at the same level of power, skill, and passion. Hellion initially enjoyed success in England after being snatched up by the now legendary indy label, Music For Nations, who also released early recordings of Metallica, Anthrax, and Mercyful Fate. Hellion's self-produced demo, released as the Hellion "Mini-LP," climbed to number 6 in the British rock charts. Several tracks from the "Mini-LP" begin this 2-disc anthology. In 1984, iconic metal vocalist, Ronnie James Dio, took Hellion under their wing. Not only did he invite Hellion to open for his band, Dio, during the Last In Line tour, but, he also is credited for coaching Ann Boleyn and for producing early Hellion demos. Two of those recordings, thankfully, are on this anthology. The anthology continues to progress with an assortment of recordings and ends up with one new song from Hellion's new line-up which now includes Ann Boleyn, Simon Wright, Maxxxwell Carlisle, Scott Warren, and Bjorn Englen. It is hard to pick favorites out of this CD because there are so many excellent songs. My personal favorites of the previously released songs "Screams In The Night," "Break The Spell," "The Tower of Air," and "Will Not Go Quietly." I am also excited about "Hell Has No Fury," a new song, which combines the galloping excitement of classic Iron Maiden, with the gothic splendor of classic Rainbow, thanks in part to the excellent keyboards of Scott Warren (who played with Heaven and Hell, and also Dio) and epic vocals of Ann Boleyn. Hellion's line-up has changed over the years. But one constant factor that remains ever present is singer, Ann Boleyn. No matter the line-up, Hellion has always featured top-flight musicians. This CD is a great introduction into Hellion who's musical style is traditional power-metal. They remain one of the best metal bands in this genre. --Reagan Davis - Metal Mondays Radio