The bright side of being listed in Facebook groups is to discover new gothic/symphonic metal bands that would otherwise never have an important exposure. This is for example the case of Hydra. This german gothic/symphonic-metal band appears relatively new and I believe this is the first album. Because I am living in the US, in a remote area it is difficult to procure hard copies of albums and iTunes is great for getting a digital version of them.
As I said Hydra is having their first album recently out for sale. It is named “Green Malachite”. If you have a chance to have a featured singer, it can really help to propel your visibility. Those who remember the first album of Delain “Lucidity” remember the guest appearances of Sharon Del Adel and Liv Kristin that really help this band formed by Martijn Westerholt (ex-Within Temptation) get their first exposure. Liv appears as a guest singer in the track “CCC-Wrath of Destruction”.
After listening to the album, it was not that bad for a first album. Yes it has a slower tempo of what I am used, it is very melancholic and nice melody. I would not quality as Symphonic metal and rather qualify it as gothic metal. The sound and the melodic are good but still remains in the average range (nothing transcendental to excite me to keep the album in a repeat mode for a whole day). Maybe I am used to baroque symphonies, loud and speedy guitar riffs and drummers that can beat a fast tempo as well as a metronome.
Lisa Rieger’s voice is good yet she has to show her full potential. I felt it was a bit unequal in some tracks she had a good performance, in other it sounded more basic. Lisa tone range put her in the alto range, somewhere in the same range than Sharon Del Adel or Liv Kristin.
If I have to pick some favorite tracks, I would choose those that sounded Symphonic Metal and with a good dose of dynamic and there a couple of tracks that I really liked. For instance, “Towards Copper Shores” and “Devastation’s Crown” that are falling in the range of my expectation. Good tracks, good guitar dynamic and good lyrics. The other track was of course the one featuring Liv Kristine “Swath of Destruction”. Lisa performance was not shadowed by Liv. Overall, the rest of this album sound was very close from the early albums of Lacuna Coil (before they watered-down their metal to more mainstream alternative level). Again, remember this is a first album and there is margin for improvement. But I feel at this point and because digital download are fairly priced ($9.99 on iTunes US), it is a great way to support little bands by buying such an album, even if you will get the same quality than an Epica album. I found it very good if you need something slow and discrete, like in need for some quiet time (for example if you are like me a scientist writing a grant). My advice? Judge yourself, go listen the playlist on Spotify. If you like it, then support them and please buy their album. If the band read my review, then I can say that “Nicht Schlecht. Viel Glueck und ich werde ihr naechste album warten”.