Metal To Infinity

No, this ain’t Hades from the USA, nor is it the Norway Black Metal band! These guys are from Bulgaria and allow me to say this country hasn’t at all a history in Metal.  I tortured  my brain to mention the only one Bulgarian band I know but I didn’t succeed. The famous BNR Metal pages couldn’t help me out and Encyclopedia Metallum listed a few hundred totally unknown bands to me … Not that it really matters this much and at least it couldn’t really hold me putting this one as soon as possible into my CD-player. The reason is obvious; Stormspell Records announced this one sounding like Vicious Rumors and Apocrypha, not by coincidence bands I have always bowed my head deep for. This means shredding guitars and strong clean vocals, US style dark Progressive Power Metal… my favorite kind of Metal! 

Reading the biography of Hades I discovered this band was formed in the eighties, in an era that the iron curtain still divided Europe. I suppose the youngsters can’t imagine a guarded wall separated Europe in two but in that period I was convinced that this would last forever; it was so obvious for us back then. In the communistic countries there were Metal bands but it was for them almost impossible to maintain any fame in the Western part of our continent. The only exception I know about was Master from Russia and I even remember them playing at the yearly Town festivities of my home town. But Hades? Damn, never heard of them….  

The description, given by Stormspell Records, fits this band perfectly and it’s a long time ago a band, with ‘foreign’ vocals, could please me this much! What a fantastic guitar player this is, what a strong vocalist! If you’re into ultra technical played Speed Metal with one after another fast fingered guitar riff or solo you’ll be astonished by them. This is beyond neo-classical Metal and the speed / power into these tracks are mind blowing! Hyperkinetic at some points but overall emotional in every possible way!  

The uncountable riffs contains at least uncountable notes and are heavy loaded all the way. Yet it is possible to recognize the red line in every track. Frequently the tempo changes from high speed into heavy loaded mid tempo arrangements. The double bass drums and the way the percussion is played are outstanding, blistering and complex! Konstantin Jambazov is a Godlike shredder, without any doubts a Guitar God. Fans of Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Stephan Forte (Adagio), Michael Harris (Darkology), Rusty Cooley (Outworld) etc. won’t believe their ears! 

Another strong point is the musical intermezzos in some of the songs; in “Dark Alleys” for example by and organ and dark chiming bells. Another superb intro is Bach’s “Toccata And Fugue In D minor” at the beginning of “Vampires” and I just name it to prove that the band perfectly knows how to bring the listener into the right, call it sinister, mood. It gives the music that extra touch I am longing for and it is this kind of dark atmosphere that makes the band so special in combination with their Progressive Power Metal – US style. The staggering played keyboards are responsible for a big part for the threatening atmosphere of this release! A touch of Adagio and Symphony X is because of it recognizable and the fact these songs are recorded in 2009 makes the band sound modern. Imagine these songs are more than twenty years old but the up-to-date production is a blessing for this album and proves these guys were incredible innovative for an eighties band!  

It’s rare to discover European bands that are able to hook up with the best American Power Metal bands. Shadowkeep, Manticora and for example Destiny are crossing my mind but it isn’t that easy to name ten bands at once that are good enough to be compared with the – in my opinion - top of the Metal scène. Hades, to be clear their band logo is on the front cover written like ‘Xaoec” (in Cyrillic), delivers the same quality of bands like Apocrypha, Vicious Rumors, Cacophony etc. The Bulgarian lyrics can’t stop me adoring this release and it would be ridiculous if this would hold you trying this band out. Nevertheless I believe singer Pavlin Nejchev should do anything to sing understandable English in the future for the reason that it would give the band the possibility to maintain more attention! Because of the fact the songs are recently recorded and the album is dated 2010 it has a good chance to end high in my top 20! Http://www.stormspell.com to listen and order this amazing and surprising release! 

My Points: 94 / 100 (Review by Officer Nice)