HYADES- And The Worst Is Yet To Come (Mausoleum Records)
Italy is not exactly a country known as a breeding ground for heavy metal; in fact, of all the major developed nations in the world, they may hold the distinction of being the one that has made the least contribution to metal. That's why I was shocked when I found out that HYADES were an Italian band, and perhaps their second album And The Worst Is Yet To Come
will indeed be a sign of things to come, hopefully inspiring young Italians everywhere to create equally powerful and kickass thrash metal. This record is no-bullshit thrash that resides in the upper-eschalon of the rest of the worldwide underground thrash resurgence that is thankfully starting to kick into full gear. The reason it stands out is because this is a type of fusion that is strangely not heard more often in thrash; a combination of the abrasive militant pummeling of German thrash mixed with the melodic riffs and catchiness of Bay Area thrash. It definitely has an appeal, and the niche they've carved out for themselves should really take them places. That, plus having your album cover done by Ed Repka isn't a bad touch either. Take notice thrashers of the world; HYADES have come to shred.
First off, the guitar tone on this album is absolute gold; think like recent EXODUS and SODOM's M-16
record (actually now that I think of it thats a pretty good way to define pretty much the whole album). However, things start off in acoustic fashion with the title track, before building into an epic twin guitar harmony. From there, the riffs are fired off furiously and consistently for the next roughly 40 minutes. "Buried In Blood" is German thrash to the core, with one of those golden thrash breaks that is 100% assured to cause severe brain trauma. If, like me, you basically exist for the sole purpose of monstrous thrash breaks, this album delivers them in spades. They also make smart use of the classic EXODUS-style riffs; check out "Unconform #756" and "Disposable Planet" for evidence (and try to ignore the unfortunate presence of a pretty bad breakdown in the former, though at least they manage to redeem themselves with that blinding main riff and the skullfucking thrash break after the solo). Then of course there are songs like "Megamosh" and "Skate Addiction" that predictably emit some strong crossover vibes that are sure to make all the D.R.I. fans happy, but they don't go all out imitation the way MUNICIPAL WASTE do for example; HYADES remain firmly rooted in heavy thrash metal the entire time. They slow down the tempo a bit for "EZLN", featuring a memorable chorus and a killer solo. "Valley Of Tears" is another more mid-paced tune, while the anthemic closer "Wops Still Thrash" takes that EXODUS riff again and wreaks havoc with it. The song ends with a sample from Italian television declaring Italy's World Cup victory over France, coincidentally almost exactly a year ago to the day of this review. Solid.
The true measuring stick for all thrash is whether or not it can cause spontaneous headbanging upon listening, and indeed HYADES have achieved the feat on And The Worst Is Yet To Come
. Even if you're not in a mood to thrash, I'm pretty sure this will get the blood pumping pretty quick regardless. Can't wait to hear what the future holds for HYADES.