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Hounds: Warrior Of Sun
Hounds - Warrior Of Sun Album Art Work

Hounds: Warrior Of Sun

Traditional Heavy Metal
4.0/5.0

The story of Hounds begins in 2016 with three musicians, Massimo Ventura (vocals/guitar), Marco De Fabianis (keys), and Cairola Enrico (drums), jamming together and covering Savatage songs. There was no desire to gig or record an album. At least not until Stefano Paparesta (bass) and Alessandro Zelferino (guitar) joined the band. The quintent begins writing songs, inspired by classic hard rock and metal and bands such as Savatage, Judas Priest, and Rainbow. In 2018, Hounds dropped their self-titled EP, consisting of six songs, and subsequently began playing shows in Italy. Now the band returns with their first long player, Warrior Of Sun, which includes all the songs from the EP, expecting Stronger Than Steel, and adds four new songs: The Cronogate, City Hunter, The Light, and Hero's Fate.

Hounds - Click For Larger Image

Hounds

With Warrior Of Sun, Hounds has hit the musical style they were aiming for. They are definitely tapping into and channeling classic hard rock and metal from Seventies and Eighties. I'm not sure if I want to call their sound traditional metal, throwback metal, or retro-metal. It's all those things, but perhaps it more reminds me of early proto-metal, which had roots in pyschedelic and acid rock. Think bands like Coven or Vanilla Fudge, but then add Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple, among others. But Hounds doesn't sound specifically like any of these bands. They're more an amalgamation of those bands's various musical motifs.

If anything it's the keyboard work that made me think of early metal. The keyboard lines feature everything from symphonic orchestration to classical piano to Hammond and church organ, with the latter two to having the most influence on my theory. You'll hear the keyboards in ways both subtle and large within the Warrior Of Sun, Condemned To Hell (sounding also a bit doomish), Hero's Fate, and especially the two instrumentals Madness And Rage and The Cronogate. After this, Hounds makes generous use of the twin guitar lines, another essential of heavy metal, so you'll find an abundance riveting solos throughout.

There's a few more additional nuances to point out. With a song like City Hunter, Hounds seems to deliver straight up power metal, perhaps more to US side of the genre. With The Light, a long metal anthem, and Hero's Fate, the arrangements seem slightly more technical, approaching progressive metal. Finally, and not wanting to necessarily end on a negative note, but I had a difficult time appreciating Massimo Ventura vocal style. First, he's very hard to understand and, second, his timbre spanned from screecho to screamo to be nearly grating on my ears. I began to wonder if the fellow can actually sing. Nevertheless, musically speaking, Hounds' Warrior Of Sun is interesting and entertaining album proto traditional heavy metal. Recommended.


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The Bottom Line

Musically speaking, Hounds' Warrior Of Sun is interesting and entertaining album proto traditional heavy metal. Recommended.

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