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Someone get that hydra a coffee - 65%

Andromeda_Unchained, November 17th, 2013

When thinking about Warrion’s debut full-length Awakening The Hydra, I can’t help but remember other bands who have put forth hydra related material, such as Omen and Twisted Tower Dire. Hell it even springs to mind that hydra at the waterfall in Dark Souls (although nowhere near as butt-clenching), but I digress. Warrion are a brand spanking new US heavy/power metal act, and I guess taking into context the aforementioned bands, they serve as a fairly good jumping off point to the sound of Warrion.

I’d have to say straight off the bat, that the strongest element of their sound is singer Michael Vescera, who I’m sure you’ll know from a gamut of other acts. The guy is a first class vocalist with a strong high register, and gives Warrion a professional timbre that some of their music lacks. Although that isn’t to say these guys are juvenile, or inexperienced, I just feel their sound would benefit from some slight refinement.

The album is short at just over half an hour, although there’s certainly quite a bit going on. Warrion kick off to a boisterous start with the album’s title track, and whilst it’s enjoyable, it hearkens back to what I was saying earlier about refinement. The chorus to this is fun and memorable, in part due to its repetitiveness, although Michael really shines with his high range and layered approach. They revisit the chorus in a reprise at the end of the album too, which leads me to guess this is a concept release, what with the instrumental interludes and such, but alas I don’t have the lyrics to find out for sure.

The rest of the material is thankfully solid, with that distinct eighties US power metal vibe going on, “Adversary” is another strong song with some rollicking riffs and again, Michael’s quality vocals. Warrion provide a lot of energy which is good, and outside of the vocals stands as their most endearing quality. If they could refine their sound into a stronger, more fluent package and better integrate their instrumentals (of which there are a few) I think the band could really be onto something.

With good performances, a great singer and a load of energy Warrion certainly do a fair bit right on their debut, and as I’ve stressed the only negative feeling I have towards Awakening The Hydra is the lack of refinement; which I would like to hope is sorted next time around. For now though, this is an enjoyable release that you should definitely pick up if you have a love for underground US power metal.

Originally written for http://www.metal-observer.com