HESS - Hagalaz
Heavy Metal
10 songs (59:00)
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Joel
Surprise of the month

Hess is an Argentinian band, that plays a classic brand of Heavy Metal. With influences that range from King Diamond to Dio, the band wears their influences on their sleeves without sounding like a tribute band. The wildcard is the vocalist, whose name , is also the bands, Melani Hess. She is a trained opera singer with some of the highest vocals I have heard in a long time. This is not Nightwish meets Dio, or anything like that. This is straight ahead Heavy Metal with different twist.

Melani's range can be heard almost instantly on the speedy opener that is, Blood and Iron. The song has some great guitar playing, and showcases some of the highest notes Ms. Melani can reach. The extended background high notes can be a bit jarring or long for those not accustomed to it. Her background vocals work a lot like keyboard/string arrangement would on a song like this. The Hessian is a stop and go rocker, with vocals that weave in between verses. The guitar solo on this song, is even a little bit bluesy but well is very well played. Clarisse's Nightmare slows things down at first, and highlight's Melani's "lower" register. Like some of her contemporary female operatic trained vocalists, she can dial back the operatics and use some aggression when needed. The double-time feeling of the latter part of the song, really takes the song into high gear, and it is done almost instantly, and it is kind of surprising at first. Der Teufel Und Sein Lehrling is a song sung in German, which actually threw me off at first. The Devil And His Apprentice is what it means, for those of who need Google Translate(Myself Included). The Giant, is a bittersweet tribute to one of the band's biggest influences, Ronnie James Dio. Anyone who is a fan of the man, will appreciate Melani's delicate care with her vocals, and the well placed lyrics. I won't ruin the song, but check out the link below to hear the song on the bands Soundcloud page.

Interpretacion(Interpretation in English) is the second foreign language song, this time in their native, Spanish. The previously mentioned Dio's influence can be heard in the rocker, Sailors Cross. A guitar riff that feels influenced by classic songs, like Rock N Roll Children. The heavy melodic Perpetual Flight is a solid song while Boleskin House is the longest song at just over eight and a half minutes. The song features Melani speaking in English, which I must say her English, speaking and singing are very good, for it not being her first language. The latter features some great guitar riffs, and several tempo changes and dynamics. The last song is a beautiful acoustic rendition of the Joan Baez(also covered by Judas Priest) classic, Diamonds and Rust. This song shows Melani's training and amazing range. It brings the entire disc to climatic close.

A solid debut from a band I had never heard of, but will be paying attention to from now. I wish Melani and her bandmates luck, and hope a sophmore effort will come out sooner than later. Check out the entire disc, on Melani Hess's Soundcloud Page
Killing Songs :
Blood and Iron, Clarisse's Nightmare, The Giant, Sailors Cross
Joel quoted 85 / 100
1 readers voted
Your quote was: 100.
Change your vote

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:14 pm
View and Post comments