Power Prog Records
Words: Craig Hartranft
With an introduction via a live album in 2012, Blinded By Tokyo, Brazil's Hibria has been on my radar for future reference. The live album displayed their version of traditional, even more European, melodic heavy power metal. The following Silent Rage found the band doing some modern experimentation with death and hardcore vocals, creating a slightly harsher sound. That kind of sucked but, overall, it wasn't a bad album.
With this year's self-titled Hibria, the band makes a return to earlier power metal roots, yet with some more interesting twists again. It seems with Hibria, they want to be like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates: "You never know what you're going to get." But there is the familiar. The foundation of Hibria's metal, across this album, is still melodic heavy power metal. You'll find the speed, sometimes a bit of thrashiness, general heaviness, all wrapped in melody, and topped of by lots of riffage and good, often technical, solos. More of this straight up power metal comes within Abyss, Tightrope, and Fame. The skill and thrill of the abundant guitar solos is quite tasty.
Yet the real spice to many of the songs is something that can only be described a jazz metal fusion. In some places, notably in the mixture of guitar and bass with various rhythms, things sound almost funky. You'll catch this in the latter parts of Pain, Words, or in the slight bass breakdown in the second half of Ghosts, making a song with an average start conclude well. Even more specifically, the two best songs here are Pain and Ashamed, both of which include horns, notably saxophone and trumpet. The addition is slight in the latter third of Pain, but absolutely glorious in Ashamed. It sounds like a pint-sized version of the Miami horns was dropped into the mix. Fabulous. I'd like to hear more of this. What I don't want to hear more of is vocalist Iuri Sanson doing his dumbass harsh vocals as within Legacy. He sounds horrid; the song is horrid. Otherwise, Hibria has delivered some fine progressive power metal once more, and you gotta dig those horns. Recommended.
With their self-titled fifth studio album, Hibria has once more delivered some fine progressive power metal, and you gotta dig those horns. Recommended.
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