To Hell and Back is the second release from heavy metal supergroup Sinergy, originally released back in 2000 on Nuclear Blast and now reissued and remastered by Metal Mind Productions. The line-up for Sinergy changed a bit since their debut Beware the Heavens, as all but Kimberly Goss and Alexi Laiho left to spend all their time with their main acts. By the time the band reconvened for To Hell and Back, the line-up was made up of all Finnish musicians, including guitarist Roope Latvala (Children of Bodom/Stone) bassist Marco Hietala (Nightwish/Tarot), and drummer Tommi Lillman (To Die For). Despite the upheaval, the sound of Sinergy remained steady, that being a solid brand of melodic power metal and thrash.
Being that Latvala is also a lead guitarist, there's many more dueling leads here, as he and Laiho both put their stamp on tracks like "Midnight Madness", "Lead Us to War", and the energetic "The Bitch is Back", which will come to no surprise to those who have followed the two shred masters on the last few Children of Bodom releases. Goss' vocals have started to take on a more aggressive tone here, though she does put on a wonderfully melodic performance on the power ballad "Laid to Rest", a song that will instantly appeal to lovers of Epica, Nightwish, and After Forever. The strong backing vocals from Hietala are the real key here, and anyone who follows his work in Nightwish knows that not only is he a solid bass player, but he can also deliver the occasional excellent lead and backing vocal, and he shines on "Gallowmere" and a few other tracks on this release.
Ultimately though it's the superior guitar skills of Alexi Laiho that really makes this album-his crisp, heavy riffs and wild leads are the star of the show from start to finish, and paired with the soaring vocals of Goss, provides a winning formula. Laiho's penchant for cover tunes appears here, in the form of the fun Blondie song "Hanging On the Telephone", which is one of five bonus tracks on this reissue. Metal Mind's release comes in a nice digipack complete with lyrics, full artwork and photos, and an essay on the band. To Hell and Back sounds just as good today as it did nice years ago, if not better, so if you didn't grab this one back then, now's the time to do so.
1. Bitch Is Back, The
2. Midnight Madness
3. Lead Us to War
4. Laid to Rest
6. Return to the Fourth World
7. Last Escape
8. Wake up in Hell
9. Hanging on the Telephone -bonus track
10. Venemous Vixens-bonus track
11. The Warrior Princess-bonus track
12. Razor Blade Salvation-bonus track