Hibria – Silent Revenge (AFM Records)Friday, 9th August 2013
Power metal goes through waves of highs and lows. Helloween rode to prominence in the 1980’s; Hammerfall resurrected the movement for most Europeans in the mid 1990’s, and for a time, Lost Horizon reigned supreme from 2001-03 before Daniel Heiman discarded his ‘true’ metal card for post rock/grunge. Yet, many worldwide forget about the fertile South American breeding ground for all things traditional, classic, and power metal, and here is where our current spotlight on Brazil’s Hibria begins.
Silent Revenge is the fourth studio album for the quintet, and their style is one that features dazzling synchronistic guitar runs, often tripled up with fervent bass maneuvers- imagine if you will transporting 80’s Iron Maiden and Painkiller-era Judas Priest into modern times, along with a high-pitched vocal acrobat that can still hit the dog whistle parts without breaking a sweat. The 10 songs contain all the necessary heavy riffs, speedy double bass textures, and proper time changes that crowds from the Far East and North America to all of Europe will sing, stomp, and pump their fists to.
Highlights are aplenty. The 8:38 “The Way It Is” is a mid-tempo stair-step type epic, where axe maestros Renato Osorio and Abel Camargo carry the arrangement torch from the start- but at the half way point bassist Benhur Lima delivers a solo worthy of Billy Sheehan-meets-Les Claypool praise and drummer Eduardo Baldo also gets to flex his percussion chops. “Deadly Vengeance” attacks much like its namesake, triplets abound in a semi-Znowhite-meets-Iced Earth manner. And “Silence Will Make You Suffer” is an obvious video single choice- the main riff perfect for hook-oriented air syncopation and the verses/chorus bringing all of vocalist Iuri Sanson’s charm and multi-octave range to the forefront.
The Skull Collectors remains the pinnacle Hibria album, but after a slight misstep with Blind Ride in terms of veering too close to the modern production style, Silent Revenge is a glorious return to what all power metal fans desire. Catch the wave once again; I can see big things in store for this band.