Hibria is one of those bands, otherwise I would have been writing that opening paragraph, right? The band hails from Brazil and has been around since 1996, having recorded several albums, splits and e.p.'s over the years. This selftitled full-length is their fifth and it's a must have for fans of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Annihilator, Halloween and Megadeth. That being said, this album is a great throw-back into the glorious days of speed metal.
The album opens viciously with 'Pain', a song which immediately sets the tone. Flashing guitars, high-speed drums and clean but powerful vocals make up the most part of the song. Yet, Hibria manages to sneak in some other instruments like sax and trumpet (I think), giving an extra sense of originality to the whole. They don't have to but they do very good at that. The song is immediately followed by another massive piece of speed metal in 'Abyss'. By now, I'm already convinced of the quality of this album.
And they never let us down. From the brilliant vocal lines in 'Tightrope' to the Pantera-like riffs in 'Life', this album varies enourmously within the genre, giving it both an old school and modern edge. In fact, 'Life' also show a bit of the ballad-writing abilities this band has, reminding me a bit of early Skid Row. 'Legacy' takes on a different approach, blending Pantera or even Fear Factory induced riffs with almost sludge-like vocals (at times). It's one of the strangest songs on this album but nonetheless quite interesting.
So it's needless to say that there's plenty of variation on this full-length, making the whole very enjoyable for nearly every metalhead out there. 'Ashamed' for example, is a splendid blend of present day alternative metal and the metallic playfulness of the eighties, enhanced with a strong chorus which many people will be able to sing-along. Much to my surprise, suddenly the song gets a great ska-touch halfway through, obviously because of the brass instruments.
And no, we're not even done there. How about a touch of funk in 'Fame'. This could be the metal version of a James Brown song, somehow reminding me of Electric Boys. So yes, we're dealing with plenty of different influences but the focus clearly remains on showing the excellent skills of all the band members and creating strong songs. It's no wonder these guys opened for a lot of big bands like Megadeth, Sepultura and Metallica. Hibria is a name to keep an eye on for they might be the only hope for the future of decent heavy metal.