Metal To Infinity

“Long Way To Lord And Other Stories” is the second album from Japanese Metal veterans Hydra. The other day, I wrote down my thoughts on their former and debut album called “Exhibition Of Malice” and was pretty impressed with the final result! Most of the songs took me heavily by surprise because of so much talented skills I’ve heard throughout this output. For a continuator, we had to wait for ten years – at the end of 2009 the band released its new effort “Long Way To Lord And Other Stories” and I'm curious all over concerning the musical content. 

First remarkable point is that the sound quality is a lot better than what I’ve heard on their debut album. I guess that’s pretty normal because ten years ago the recording technologies weren’t that sophisticated than they are nowadays. First song ‘Anger’ comes flown by my speakers and brings on nearly 5 minutes of awesome Power Metal to the extreme. Thrashing guitar riffs and great vocals delivering kinda aggression varied with shrieking and screaming parts. Shred guitar tactics still present and that’s what I like. It’s still the same guitarist as can be heard on Hydra’s former album – he convinced me all over back then and keeps on surprising me each time he starts to offer incredible shred tactics! 

“Naked Kingdom” breathes pure power, nice and fast rhythm sections… guitars more groovy tuned but a gain a song that really bites into flesh and bone. In some ways, the style of Hydra is a bit changed – as I hear songs like ‘Loveless’, ‘Dark Hero’ or ‘Lo Life Ring’ to name but a few, it’s obviously clear that these have more progressive inversions on board than ever before. Also the vocals to sound difference and I have to admit that these were more so called my alley. But in the end, no matter which style of Metal these guys play, they always will succeed… Hydra means skill descretion! 

The title track is the longest one (at least 10+ minutes) of the entire album, separated in four subtitles Hydra brings on a musical demonstration so sit back and listen full of attention. I have mixed feelings about the vocal lines (not strong enough to me) during the first part of the song but later on all becomes alright again. I’ve wrote it in my review for “Exhibition Of Malice” also – Hydra’s singer offers the very best while using his throat full forced ahead. Without reducing vocals notes to a lower level, this guy’s a real good singer. And that's excatly what I'd like to say about the other musicians too. More than a decade long with the same guys fulfilling the line-up allows me to tell that the musicianship within the Hydra ranks must be very good which is a good point for the future!

I can leave with a rested heart – very pleased and honoured I had the opportunity to spread both of Hydra’s albums. Which album I prefer the most of all? I’d like to say “Exhibition Of Malice” but that’s a personal opinion so the only way out to made up your own mind is to go check out their myspace homepage where you can hear songs from both efforts. Here’s the url anyway: http://www.myspace.com/newpopsprogressivehydra  

My Points: 84 / 100 (Review by Stefan)