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I was surprised to notice I was the second one to review this excellent album, because I believe it was known by lots of thrashers. I listened to a song on the Stars On Thrash compilation and I immediately found their first two albums. Hades from U.S.A., and not from Norway, started their career playing the classic U.S. power metal at the end of the 70s to move to a more compact thrash/speed with the always present power elements. Anyway, don’t expect to listen to a German style power metal band because we all know the differences between these two kinds of power metal.
This one is surely more violent and dynamic without being the cheesy German one. Here those ingredients are mixed in a perfect way to create good songs. Another band that comes to my mind in this field are Paradox: both have the ability to create always very catchy songs through heavy dosage of thrash/speed metal too. So we can find tracks like “The Leaders?” where the band is free to show all the abilities on the speed parts, broken by excellent melodic solos or the following “Nightstalker” were the speed is a bit abandoned for the initially groove riffs and following mid paced tempos.
But don’t worry because we have the lethal “Legal Tender” to raise the flag of the most pure speed/thrash metal. It’s a very fast song with good, intricate guitars riffage and fast solos. The vocals are truly in speed metal style with some higher tonality parts, but the whole thing doesn’t sound exaggerated or monotonous because Tecchio has a beautiful, versatile vocal style that can fit in any kind of song in this genre. The more quiet “On To Illiad” is a small starter to the very good, more speed oriented “Widow’s Mite”.
The good thing in these songs is that each and every one features a groovy, almost hard rock touch that, combined with the speed parts gives you the idea of completeness and excellent songwriting. The technical level of these five musicians is never to question. Each guitars solo, for example, is a demonstration of great ability and sense of melody. Sometimes, like in the complicated title track, the progressive metal influences are well visible and sound extremely good.
In those parts, the vocals are very Anthrax oriented…like in their first period. The riffs on “Sweet Revenge” have a dark feeling, reminding me some early Testament parts. Surely Testament got influenced by Hades, not the contrary. This song, despite the title, features groove parts and some good solos alternation. “The Cross” is pure, dark, power metal ballad, excellent for those who want to know the pure 80s sound in that period. The tempos are less impulsive and the melody plays the main role with the arpeggios.
During the last 9 minute song, we can hear influences that go from Iron Maiden in the first part to Black Sabbath in the second. The bass is far more audible here than in most of the other songs. Overall, this is a very good, technical album by a group that deserved an higher dose of luck and success.