20 years have passed, believe it or not. The speedy Heavy Metal and Power Metallers Hibria just released their very own birthday present. Appropriately called XX and signed to Test Your Metal Records, their new album covers three new tracks and four live performance samples from all across their past offerings.
Hibria got this Brazilian machine going by 1996, starting off with a demo in ’97 and never stopping since. Now, after a score of singles, splits, live albums, re-issues and five full length albums with new material, it is now time to fire up the birthday cake with this newest EP-ish concoction.
Talking about the new material: Still infused with the usual Hibria #metal power, the band takes a much more progressive course on the first two tracks. Astonishingly so, kind of ditching the Brazilian freshness and clear, crisp #metal prevalent in Hibria (the album). I like the turn of events, though and the tracks are very technically savvy. But if continued, there is trouble on the horizon with parts of their fan base. Now, for those there is light at the end of the tunnel: Fool’s Paradise gets them a thrashy, speedy dose of Hibria as we know it.
Noteworthy is the mixing/mastering job done on all tracks, especially on the live ones. Those were recorded at Teatro do CIEE, Porto Alegre/Brazil in November 2015, none of the tracks show any sign of this low-fi, kind of hollow sound many live offerings suffer from.
Now, is the album good or bad? The new material is for sure up to par, but I would have expected some more new goodies, once I stopped unwrapping. But hells bells, XX contains top notch Hibria at their best. And the album for sure whetted the appetite of yours truly for more of that. On their next full length album surely to follow soon.