Hibria - Defying the Rules
Remedy Records
Heavy Metal/Power Metal
10 songs (52:30)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Cody
Archive review

As many of you my fellow metalheads are aware of, modern metal music has become very serious and dramatic with the swelling of metalcore, death metal, mainstream blackmetal, and melodic death all focusing more on aggression, primitive emotion, nihilism, and even epic storylines. The art of spontaneous heavy metal, with the soaring vocals, guitarists who ripped out solos in an effort to break up the rigidity of old guard rock n roll, the drum fills that lead the way to dramatic riff changes, and above all else...the pure unadulterated "fun" of it all, has been severely lacking in the last decade.

Still weathering the MTV glam movement (at least in the U.S.), new school metal bands like Pantera, Machine Head, Sepultura and all the rising death metal bands, took the heavy music world by storm by playing against the grain (which unfortunately, led to the nu-metal movement of the late 90's). While many modern bands still maintained and continue to maintain the grace that often accompanies melody in metal, the face of the scene had changed with the 80's fading further and further into the past. Bands like Racer X, Accept, Helloween and Dio were almost considered taboo outside of the underground. It is true that the roots of the original guard have not been eliminated with bands like Savatage, Dream Theater, Symphony X, and the rising of the power metal age are still maintaining close ties with the old school, and yes, all of these bands are grandiose and well worth mentioning, but they do not hold the essence of reckless abandonment that the early bands once had, instead adopting a complex approach to the music.

In the last few years however, it seems as if that fun, reckless abandonment that made metal fun, is slowly seeping back into the scene. Metalcore and melodic death may hold the mainstream's attention, but deep in the underground, bands like Dream Evil, 3 Inches of Blood, and now Brazil's Hibria, with their debut album Defying the Rules, are being recognized as stand out bands amongst an ever growing stagnancy in the scene. Finally, those of us who want catchy fun music have access to exactly what the mood calls for. Stripped of the keyboards, epic fantasy tales, anti-religious themes, political mumbo jumbo, and hardcore influence, this retro-fed revolution of bare bones metal, is just what the doctor ordered.

Hibria is the latest of the retro-revolution that was suggested by a member of our own forum. As soon as the first song from Defying the Rules started thumping into my ears, I knew it was going to be a special album. One could easily close their eyes and imagine themselves sitting in 1985 wearing a dirty jean jacket, riding in a Camero with the windows rolled down on a hot summer day jam packed with your buds headbanging down the road with your stereo system cranked to the max. Hibria defines what it means to have fun with high pitched vocals spun over speedy guitar work, catchy as hell drums, and perhaps most of all--stand out bass guitar chops! Finally a modern band that is not afraid to show off their damn bassist! In addition to having wicked lead guitar solos, I was treated to some kickass bass soloing and an overall emphasis on bass work throughout the album, which I am ALWAYS a big fan of.

Besides the retro feel, the album is simply very very well done. This debut is something that you'd expect from a well established traditional metal group to put out in their finest hour. Instead, we are given this amazing piece of musical craftsmanship from a group of virtual unknowns in Brazil, with out of this world writing abilities. From what I have read, the EPs and demos these guys put out previous to this album, were signs of something big, but nothing special in their own right. Whoever predicted that Hibria would be a force to be reckoned with was dead on. With proper label support and a continuation of songwriting excellence defined by sleek production, Hibria will be a major player in the metal scene in a couple of years, guaranteed. Talented bands like this, no matter where they are from or how far underground they start out in, are eventually going to be rise to the top as obvious choices for success.

Cutting through my lengthy introduction, and my own felatio of Defying the Rules, it is absolutely everyone's job as devoted metal afficionados, to seek out this album, purchase it, pop it into your CD player and listen to it with open ears. I cannot stress how imperative it is for everyone to listen to this album and get this band more exposure, it would be a crime if these guys were to disappear as a diamond in the rough. Let these retro rockers keep making some ass kicking music for the world to hear!

For a sample of their music, please check out the following website:

Hibria MP3's

Killing Songs :
All of them technically, but Stare At Yourself is particularly notable
Cody quoted 95 / 100
Jason quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Hibria that we have reviewed:
Hibria - The Blind Ride reviewed by Thomas and quoted 50 / 100
Hibria - The Skull Collectors reviewed by Thomas and quoted 91 / 100
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