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Review: Hibria - Defying the Rules
Defying the Rules

Label: Remedy Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 52:05
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: August 20, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Defying the Rules

Rated 4.67/5 (93.48%) (46 Votes)

When you hear a lot of hype about a band, you begin to think 'this can't possibly be that good, not really.' After all, I have heard hype about some perfectly dreadful bands, but Hibria are the real shit. This is an impressive-as-Hell debut for this Brazilian band, and it proves that no matter how many times something in metal has been done, it is still worth doing if you do it right.

From the opening barrage of the killer opener "Steel Lord On Wheels" you will be hooked in by a tight, powerful assault of 100% pure steel. Hibria may get classed as Power Metal, but for my money this is unadulterated Heavy Metal all the way. With a crunchy guitar sound courtesy of a master job by Iron Savior guru Piet Sielck, and a locked-in, tighter than Hell guitar team blazing away, Hibria prove within 30 seconds that they are not about silly polka melodies and keyboard shit. This is real fucking metal here kiddies. Hibria is like a cross between old Maiden and Helloween with a shot of Paragon in the mix. And this is an incredibly solid album: no clinkers, no skippers, NO FUCKING BALLADS. Every song is just smoldering steel ownage, through the melodic "Change Your Life Line" through the high speed "Millenium Quest" and title cut, and also more midpaced, pounding numbers like "A Kingdom To Share" and the awesome "Living Under Ice". Hibria are far tighter and compose more complex tunes than is usual, without a single trace of prog jerking. These are just dense, packed tunes with killer hooks and awesome, classic leads.

Vocalist Iuri Sanson is a find for sure, and a lot of Hibria's power comes from his high-octane wail that rivals such greats as Daniel Heiman and Rob Halford. He's got a Hell of a range, and a rough and charismatic tone that leaves him in no danger of being mistaken for a chick no matter how high he sings. He's also got a great ear for melodies, as attested to by the fact that you will have a hard time getting these tunes out of your head. And it isn't just the choruses either. This is not one of those bands with weak verses and shout-along choruses backed up by a choir. No. All the vocal lines are good, and the vocal effects are kept in check, so we can hear the man really sing.

I was prepared for this to be not as cool as I had been told it was, but "Defying The Rules" made a convert of me by song 2, and they never stopped kicking ass right through the whole disc. With a debut this good I wonder if Hibria can possibly have anywhere to go, as there is just not much room above this release. A must-have album.

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