Hyades - Abuse Your Illusions (Mausoleum Records) 2005
1. "No Man's Land"
In my endless search for real thrash metal, I discovered this band from Varese, Italy. Italy is not a country I usually think of for thrash metal. Germany, England, America, but not Italy. However, what we have here is some genuine thrash metal, as if it were still 1987. Grab your denim vest, leather jacket and boots, it's time to whip up another "Toxik Waltz". This band recalls the sound of American bands like Anthrax, Exodus and Megadeth with a nod to the European scene and bands like Destruction. Those looking for something new and fresh will not find it here. However, those looking for some real, pummeling, mosh ethic will be pleasantly surprised by Hyades. The band's logo is obviously, misappropriated from Nuclear Assault. The centerfold band photo inside the CD booklet is clearly a re-enactment of Exodus' "Fabulous Disaster" cover. I have to assume that Hyades are big Anthrax fans. Several riffs on this album remind me of those 80's Anthrax romps. Also, the band photo featuring drummer Mauro De Brasi sporting an Anthrax t-shirt, colorful jam shorts, white high top sneakers and a skate board reaffirms my suspicion. Hyades wear their influences brazenly on their sleeves, and for that matter, on their t-shirts. The vocals are of the harsh variety combining Steve Souza and Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer. Vocalist Marco Columbo is aggressive yet still understandable, which I find very cool. Lyrically, the band staggers between not taking themselves too seriously to cynical, political rants with lots of stabs at U.S. President Bush. There are several stand out tracks including album opener "No Man's Land", the anti-war anthem "Smart Bombs, Dumb War" and the ultra-cool "September, 11". In the middle of "September, 11" during the solo break, the riff and solo reminds me of a Megadeth track but at the time of writing this I was unable to connect which Megadeth song that was. The album finishes off with a cover of the Beastie Boys hit, "Fight For Your Right". Hyades takes a more straight forward metal/thrash approach to the song. I still can't seem to separate this version from the original version that was blasting at every college party I attended in the 80's. Overall, this band is a very good throwback to thrash yesteryears and "Abuse You Illusions" is a good listen. Upon receiving this CD in the mail from TheEndRecords.com, I couldn't stop listening to it. As printed on the tray liner inside this CD, "Trash Now, Work Later."
Hyades - And the Worst is Yet to Come (Mausoleum Records) 2007
1. "And the Worst
is Yet to Come" (2:15)
Hyades return with their sophomore release for Mausoleum Records with cover art by Ed Repka, who is well known in thrash circles for creating some of the best covers for bands like Sanctuary, Death, Megadeth, Toxik, Vio-lence, EvilDead, Uncle Slam, among others. Most recently he has also done covers for 3 Inches of Blood, Municipal Waste and Merciless Death. This particular cover reminds me of the old EvilDead, looking a bit like another scene from the "Annihilation of Civilization" cover. However, despite having some cool artwork, one must not judge a book by it's cover. However, Hyades delivers the goods musically as well! The albums starts off with a bit of an acoustic passage reminiscent of Annihilator. From that point on, the band unleashes a brutal assault of traditional thrash metal. Despite being from Italy, Hyades' sound is similar in style to some of the classic American thrash bands that came out of the 80's. The riffing, the tempos, the bridges, the mosh groove, the gravely vocals, Hyades have the whole package. The only thing that really hints to being a more modern release is that the production is better, reminding me of the more recent Exodus albums. Vocalist Marco Colombo has an aggressive snarl that reminds me slightly of Chuck Billy, while retaining a unique sound. I really like bands like this that can employ aggressive vocals without having to rely on monotonous death metal growls or metalcore screaming. 2007 was a great year for those who live and breath thrash metal. There were lots of excellent thrash metal releases and Hyades is one of the best. Shoot with song titles like "Megamosh", what more needs to be said?