Godfathers of Scandinavian rock return with sleeker hi-fi sound

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The Hellacopters – By The Grace Of God

Long before The Hives were peddling their Stooges-infused rock, The Hellacopters were turning out hedonistic heavy metal on a series of obscure albums for the Ruin label. Then, in 2000, they signed to Mercury, delivered the exhilarating High Visibility, and suddenly Noel Gallagher was at their gigs.

By The Grace Of God continues to mix Beggars Banquet-era Stones with the breathless energy of the Ramones, only with a more polished, if slightly repetitive, sound. There are infectious choruses aplenty, especially on the anthemic title track and “The Exorcist”. Those Mercury big bucks have been put to good effect.