Released: 2005, Mausoleum Records
Hungering for tried and true 80’s thrash? Italy’s Hyades might be just what you’re looking for. Forming in 1996 and releasing a handful of demos and an EP before getting a deal with Mausoleum Records, Hyades released ABUSE YOUR ILLUSIONS in 2005, and have already followed this album up in 2006 with AND THE WORST IS YET TO COME.
Hyades debut full-length release is 80’s thrash just how it was meant to be played; lots of energy, semi-melodic vocals, and more than enough attitude to blow away the “retro” bands. The band’s riffing style is simple and is reminiscent of the late 80’s Bay Area sound, the riffing styles of Forbidden, Heathen, Exodus (the guitar sound is pure FABULOUS DISASTER), and a handful more make appearances on the album. Vocalist Marco Columbo is like a combination of Zetro, Baloff, and Flemming Rönsdorf so you can expect a voice that’s at least somewhat unique. The general sound of ABUSE YOUR ILLUSIONS is somewhat modern, though the band refrains from down tuning and have a very “classic” guitar sound.
The first two tracks, “No Man’s Land” and “Smart Bombs, Dumb War”, utilize similar clichéd intros, letting a single guitar cycle through the song’s riff a couple times before having the rest of the band kick in. Certainly the rest of either song is pretty straight forward, no serious deviations and lots of primal, caustic thrash metal. The focus is definitely on riffs, and everything is certainly done to accent them. “Smart Bombs, Dumb War” is the stronger of the two tracks though as the riffs just cook, the song definitely beyond a lot of the current thrash metal crop and probably being able to hang with a few of the 80’s bands. “Hyades” starts off with a bouncing, mid-paced crunch that carries throughout the rest of the track. Similar to some of the Zetro-era Exodus tracks that permeated albums like FABULOUS DISASTER… Actually, the riff that comes in at 1:36 is the chorus to Exodus’ “War is My Sheppard”.
A more epic approach is taken in “Picture of the World”, some good usage of dual leads as well as some impressive use of dynamics. The track speeds up and slows down, slams down some impressive riffs, as well as throwing around some damn catchy guitar melodies. Marco Colombo screams throughout, getting some classic gang shouts in here and there for help. The build-up at 3:40 works nicely into the lead section and the song as whole sits as a fine achievement for the band. “Blameless in the Deathrow” is a song that has the most attitude of the album, just listen to the main riff with its impressive swagger. You can tell immediately the band know what they’re doing as they not only come up with solid riffs but there’s a certain extra something behind the way they play them.
Hyades were off to a good start in 2005, ABUSE YOUR ILLUSIONS stands as an impressive modern thrash metal album. I admit I’m deducting half a point for a couple rather blatant riff similarities, but that really doesn’t make the album any less fun to listen to.