Satariel - Hydra review
|Release date:||June 2005|
01. The Freedom Fall
02. Be You Angel, Be You Beast
03. Claw The Clouds
04. Vengeance Is Hers
05. For Galaxies To Clash
06. The Springrise
07. Scattering The Timeweb
08. 300 Years Old
09. Nihil Juggernaut
10. No God Loves
"Hydra" is the third album released by this (unfortunately) still not well-known Melodic Death Metal band. I could maybe say Gothenburg instead of Melodic Death, because their music could remind you of the earlier Soilwork albums. "Hydra" comes after a more Death Metal-sounding album, "Phobos And Deimos", which the band had previously released two years earlier, in 2003.
No intro required for this album; "Hydra" immediately greets the listener pleasantly with the opener "The Freedom Fall", which its melody easily resonates in your mind for the remainder of the subtle listening experience. Guitars, drums, keyboards, everything fits together and all are equally highlighted between various breaks in Pär Johansson's singing. The talented vocalist is as able to do Death Metal growls, harsh vocals which could also be compared to Black Metal vocals, as well as he can do great clean vocals in the choruses.
Enthralling drums, mellow acoustic guitar and harmonizing keyboards make each second of music vibrant and enjoyable. The riffs are catchy, and some solos placed here and there make the songs less repetitive -the chorus is repeated times in "The Springrise" for instance- and raise the quality of the album. Each song is different from the other, although it doesn't mean there is no synchronization between each track in the album.
Yet one could point out an exception: the 9th track "Nihil Juggernaut", which comes after two quite slow tempo and more melodic tracks, and introduces a rupture with its heavier intro. The vocals in this track are also harsher than in the other songs. Then the album finishes with a longer, slower and more melodic track, which is supposed to be a conclusion to "Hydra". I, personally, would have preferred "Nihil Juggernaut" to mark the end of this album, instead of breaking the flow that exists in the previous songs. This is not a major problem, as one could also think it is a way to put more energy in the slowing down pace of the album, and thus, this rupture provides a balanced quantities of sounds between all the songs.
The lyrics in this album are all written by Pär Johansson, the vocalist, and are quite interesting: most of the songs deal with questions about metaphysics. The word "god" comes back quite often in the lyrics. Though I am not really sure how I should interpret that, and all the more not sure if I am allowed to do so. That is the reason why I won't attempt to say anything more about it.
The title "Hydra" seems to be a riddle for me as well. Hydra is a Greek island, a monster in Greek mythology, and one of Pluto's satellites… This doesn't help much because I haven't noticed any clear reference to Greek mythology. The lyrics are made to raise questions in the reader's mind, and Pär Johansson has achieved this goal for sure.
If I had to pick one song and elect it as my favourite song of the album, I would choose "The Springrise". This very catchy track, placed in the middle of the album, is the one in which, in my opinion, the In Flames and Soilwork influences are really obvious.
But this doesn't make the band one of the clones of the two bands I have just mentioned. On the contrary, the influences I named previously are only obvious in some very specific details in the music, and the overall sound is fresh and original.
To conclude, I would say this album is a good piece of (Gothenburg/)Melodic Death Metal that should make Satariel more famous, and give the band the notoriety it deserves.
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