In my many years of listening to Hard Rock and Metal music I have enjoyed the many aspects that have been infused into the genre from inception. From the Punk to the Glam to the Progressive, Hard Rock and Metal have been evolving for 40 years. I now believe that a band has injected another aspect into the ever evolving sound of Hard Rock and that sound is Old School Industrial Power Metal. How can I call something that is modern, old school you may ask? Well, when you can combine Black Sabbath with the modern touches of Lacuna Coil accented with Ann Boleyn and Hellion mixed with Doro, then you have a new style and that style is pure “Redemption.”
When I first began to hear the early stages of this album, courtesy of my friend and Hydrogyn guitarist Jeff Westlake, I was blown away by the pure, in your face power. Jeff sent me a studio sample of the “My Redemption” track directly from the studio and when I put my headphones on and hit play, I could feel the blood simmering in my ears. So much aggression encapsulated into full melody, it was like dynamite exploding in a pillow. So, I have had several months to savor a few tracks. I must say that now as I get to enjoy the finished project, I am listening to a modern hard rock Picasso. “Redemption” has all of the power and all of the melody to make this album one of the true contenders in 2017.
Let’s start with Track 1 “FIXIR” which opens with a eerie guitar strum/chime, reminiscent of a snake charmer soothingly easing the Cobra out of the hat. The serpent is released and the heavy guitar along with the raspy vocal growl of Erica Parrott kicks in. This is a guitar driven hard rock tune in its purest form; HEAVY and setting the stage for a full-on assault that will take me to realms of the melodic and the hard n heavy.
“My Redemption,” track 2, is the first single and video for this album and this is where the band truly shines. The song opens with a nice, distorted, guitar riff that reminds me of Tony Iommi and then opens up to Erica Parrott taking center stage. Parrott has injected a new thunder into this lineup and her vocal prowess and power are the driving force of “My Redemption.” The song delivers a really cool guitar solo by Westlake and the band overall sounds amazing. The same holds true as “Tailspin” swirls in and there is more of the heavy grit, but there is also the element of soul that is injected during the bridge. This album encourages headbanging and yes I am rocking throughout in a salute to the metal gods. I must reinforce the diversity of this album. With every listen I hear something different and that is what makes this album so unique. The melodic and the heavy, yes, they are here, but when Track #4, “Devil God Devil” rips in with the dark voice chanting “DEVIL, GOD DEVIL and the NASTY, crunch of the guitar comes in, I am literally BLOWN AWAY. This tune has been my favorite since I first heard it and I can guarantee that this will be played for many years at MAXIMUM volume. This tune is just, like I say, BADASS to the core. The Hydrogyn band in this track really comes to the forefront with the bombastic rhythm section of John Cardilino and Chris Sammons, the hard driving guitar of the Jeff’s twin attack of Westlake and Bogg’s and Erica Parrott, metal’s version of Aretha Franklin all driving this tune into immortality.
Just when you think that the music cannot get any larger, track 5, “Suffering” eases in with more of the same, dark and eerie guitar work from Westlake and Erica Parrott testing the slower paced waters and catching all the waves. This is a tune that changes pace throughout and steamrolls right on thru it like a smooth rolling Sherman Tank; thunderous and menacing. Now, this is the foundation of this album, pure thunder and mega heavy and that continues with “Break In Two.” The intro begins with a smooth echo and ignites into a ferocious bass drum thumping, double time extravaganza; melodic heaviness under total control.
With so many songs that are delivered with so much power from the guitars to the rhythm section to the vocals, its hard to imagine that the throttle could be pushed down any harder, but like many albums where the songs become an afterthought towards the end, “Redemption” delivers a final four that take this one directly into the stratosphere. Track 7, “Down In Flames” shutters in like an earthquake with some, nice and simple chords and transforms into a great, straight forward, hard rock tune.
Like so many elements of this album, “Hey Ho” comes in with a distorted vocal by Erica Parrott that has a touch of the industrial feel. This is a more commercially sounding tune, but do not take that to mean that the song does not pack power. There is just enough punch and heaviness to make even the most robust sound system cower in the corner. So, you think that you have heard all of the elements of what this album has to offer, think again. Just as I was about to relax and take it all in, I am hit with a sucker punch titled “In The End.” This is a full-on Panteraesque, chant-filled march that blows the doors off of this album. I can see the heads banging and the mosh pit forming as this song plays on.
The heaviness is apparent throughout, but what sets this one apart is the infusion of the melodies that accent the taste buds musically. For all of the thunder and all of the lightning, there needed to be a cooling down period to take in what I have experienced and that is when an acoustic gem comes into my headphones and its name is “Jenny.” This is a classic from the start and Erica Parrott shines with the Pat Benatar type delivery of mega passion, full power and just the perfect way to put a stamp on this album.
In an age where music often lacks much variation and where its seems that artist’s would rather take the more comfortable course, Hydrogyn has taken the road less traveled. “Redemption” has combined the essential elements of classic metal/hard rock and added the modern metal and industrial sound. Best described as Sabbath meets Priest meets Nine Inch Nails meets Metallica. The metal world has needed an injection and I believe that Hydrogyn and “Redemption” will provide that much needed touch. This is an album that can set a trend and I highly recommend it. Its time for “Redemption” and in Hydrogyn we stand.
“REDEMPTION” RELEASES MARCH 10th VIA HIGH VOL MUSIC”
PURCHASE NOW AT: https://www.highvolmusic.com/
JEFF WESTLAKE – GUITAR
ERICA PARROTT – VOCALS
JEFF BOGGS- GUITAR
CHRIS SAMMONS – BASS
JOHN CARDILINO – DRUMS
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