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Review: Hibria - Blind Ride
Blind Ride

Label: King Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 44:32
Tracks: 11
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: May 20, 2011
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.31/5 (86.25%) (16 Votes)

Hibria's path has been one of expectations and turmoil, as after their breakout classic Defying the Rules way back in 2004, they would have been hard pressed to come up with something that satisfied the fans. The Skull Collectors was fun but ultimately not as good, and we had to wait another 3 years to get their next one – which has arrived in the form of Blind Ride.

Sporting a blazing, fiery cover art and a set of songs that hit harder than a pillowcase full of anvils, Blind Ride catapults Hibria back to the front line. A lot of people seemed confused by this, as it isn't exactly the same stuff they were doing back on Defying, but it's really a stellar piece of metal. The songs are shorter but at the same time more technical and daring, as they all feature complex rhythmic and vocal patterns that slowly seed themselves into your brain and stay there. The combination of compact songwriting and increased technicality really makes this one stand out. "Nonconforming Minds" sums up what this album is about – diving rhythms, technical riff/lead combos and the infectious vocals of Sanson. Further bangers like "Shoot Me Down," the awesome slower burn of the epic "Blinded By Faith" and the careening "Shelter's On Fire" show a band progressing at a rapid rate. "I Feel No Bliss" is another corker – a tortured, somber ballad with some of Sanson's most emotive vocals yet.

Iuri Sanson's vocals aren't as high pitched on here, but he does let out a carefully planned scream at exactly the right moments. The guitars are dense, rumbling and sharp as barbed wire, with the bass added to the mix for an extra pinch of heaviness and the wild drums making everything sound even more adventurous. The title is apt – this album is as unpredictable and raucous as they get in the power metal genre, a veritable roller coaster of madness, mayhem and raw emotion. Let it grow on you. It cooks and festers like crazy, and it's damn well worth it. Highly recommended.

More about Hibria...
Review: Defying the Rules (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Hibria (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Silent Revenge (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Skull Collectors (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: The Skull Collectors (reviewed by PowerMetal59)
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