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Released: 2015, Power Prog Records
It’s been a long road for the Brazilians in Hibria. They carpet bombed the metal world with their absolutely stunning debut album, DEFYING THE RULES. The three albums they have released since then have been less well-received but their last one (2013’s SILENT REVENGE) seemed to be turning the corner. Personally I’ve enjoyed all of their albums but none have stood up to the power of the debut thus far. That said, Hibria seems to be making a statement with this new self-titled album, so perhaps they are ready to retake their place?
As opening track “Pain” kicks in, one is instantly put on notice that the band means business. The track is fast and Iuri Sanson instantly proves that he’s still an incredible vocalist with an urgent, acrobatic performance (which he continues throughout the entire album). Hibria have always leaned to the heavier, thrashier side of power metal and nothing has changed here. Guitarists Abel Carmago and Renato Osorio rip it up and trade solos and even bassist Benhur Lima gets in a few solo licks. Awesome! The track also has a brief section that includes horns, showing the band is trying to stretch their writing skills a bit. The horns sort of fit, and are thankfully brief before the band gets back to kicking ass. They are, however, a sign of what’s to come on “Ashamed”, which starts off in typical fast Hibria fashion before revealing itself to be is a breakdown–laden tune that also brings in even more horns for a bizarre lounge music-type section. It works better than I’ve described it, but it’s still a little off-putting. As well, “Fame” is a bit too modern-metal for my tastes and features unnecessary female guest vocals.
That’s it for negatives; the rest of the album slays mightily. Highlights include the thrashing “Tightrope”, and the more power metal-focused “Ghost” and “Words”. All told, there’s an immediate quality to this record that was missing from the likes of BLIND RIDE. When the majority of an album makes you want to yell “Fuck yeah!” and bang your head, you know the band has done something right – that’s exactly the feeling Hibria was able to capture on their debut, and they’ve done it again here. It shows they’ve not forgotten how to write glorious, uplifting heavy metal and while I won’t say they’ve equalled DEFYING THE RULES, this effort proves they are still one of the best pure heavy metal bands around.
Iuri Sanson: Vocals
Abel Carmago: Guitar
Renato Osorio: Guitar
Benhur Lima: Bass, Keyboards, Programming, Vocals
Eduardo Baldo: Drums
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