Hard Tension - Fear and Guilt
Self-released
Heavy Metal/Rock with Neoclassical Tendencies
5 songs ()
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Alex

Unlike one of my other reviews this week (On Top) I do not believe the choice of moniker such as Hard Tension had anything to do with sexual overtones for this young Portuguese collective. Fear and Guilt is their second EP and they are trying to stake a place for themselves in the local and probably further more widespread European metal stage. Fear and Guilt shows of their hard work, quite skilled and polished production and some memorable song moments, but the overall impression after the EP is done playing is a little uncertain, primarily because the band tries almost too hard to showcase their adept handling of multiple metal styles.

After a short instrumental Serenade of Fall does not really hint at any direction where the music might go, Harder Faster throws at you a mottled concoction of rocking simple riffs, some metal headbanging moments, spacey proggy keyboards, and guitarist Paolo Santos reaching for his inner Malmsteen on the neoclassical solos. I have heard some bands on LMP label who tried to combine all of these sounds in one, and being called “fresh blood” and inventive, so maybe Hard Tension is on to something, provided their songs hit the right ear. Heading for the Light is a more classic Maiden-style gallop, although still with some neoclassical tendencies, Lords of Salem is more purer speedier metal, but the title track still attempts to roll many things in one. Synths floating in the background, and trying to spice this rocking tune with more keys and extended guitar acrobatics, is seemingly adding to the songwriting prowess, but that is how one tends to lose focus. If the riff is made to rock, why do you have to pile on? Up front, highly accented, but extremely legible youthful vocals by Migas is another pretty distinctive attribute of Hard Tension.

In my modest opinion, not trying for the neoclassical arpeggiated moments, but instead focusing on the rocking memorability in their riffs, would bring more fans and recognition to Hard Tension.

Killing Songs :
Heading for the Light
Alex quoted 68 / 100
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