Sound — 9
Without a doubt Brazil is a country that continues to amaze me time and again, the sheer amount of great bands that this nation spits forth, for example Porto Alegre is the home of bands such as Nephasth, Rebaelliun or Saunter and now this metropolis is sending out yet another band into the Metal pantheon, one that has everything it takes to win over the worldwide competition: Hibria. The band of singer Iuri Sanson, guitarists Abel Camargo and Diego Kasper, bassist Marco Panichi and drummer Savio Sordi has been together in the same line-up ever since 1997 and after two demos and two singles now offers us its debut Defying The Rules and this something to be beheld! The cover looks Metal through and through and the music continues this: pure Heavy Metal with a strong Eighties touch, but without sounding old fashioned, quite the contrary they sound very fresh and energetic!
Lyrics — 9
After the dark intro they deliver a pure Metal hymn with Steel Lord On Wheels, driving, with very strong guitar work and solos and great vocals, at times doubled, there is no bombast, no big choirs, but serious Metal that should drive any fan of this style into ecstasy, not least because this is only the beginning of a through and through mature and cool Metal album of the old school. Millenium Quest doesn't take any prisoners, fat double-bass, driving guitars, power without end, great! Living Under Ice is a stomper, but not without speeding up every now and then, here and there once more doubling the vocals. Right into the title track, a truly superb song, among the best that I have heard in this style in the past few months, this is how traditional Metal has to sound, period. And at the end Stare At Yourself adds a light epic touch, still with heavy guitars, pumping bass and soaring vocals.
Overall Impression — 9
Hibria prove to us with Defying The Rules that even now traditional heavy/power metal still can sound gripping, energetic and fresh without using any genre-foreign elements, simply convincing through great musicianship and good song writing. I would buy it if it was stolen/lost!