Angher - Hidden Truth
Self Financed
Thrashy Power Metal
11 songs (39:42)
Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Ross
Album of the month
I first heard of Angher when Metal mag Terrorizer reviewed Hidden Truth. In the review Terrorizer admitted that because their demo came on a bulk-bought CD with the track list scrawled on the front in black pen, they slung it to the bottom of the pile labelling Angher ‘Amateurish’ and ‘can’t be bothered’! Personally, I thought that was rather a snobbish attitude from Terrorizer and has severely dented my belief of them as being a ‘Grass Roots’ Metal mag, supporter of up and coming underground bands. Kinda reminds me of an old saying that’s stuck in my head from years ago – “Never mind the quality, feel the width!” Okay, rant over, Terrorizer finally got round to listening to Hidden Truth and discovered the hard way that appearances can be deceptive and that they should never judge a CD by its cover.

Influenced by Black Label Society, Metallica with some Slayer in there as well, Angher have stamped their own mark on their music with a unique cello/guitar/bass mix. Yup you read it right – Cello. Normally associated with Symphonic and Epic Power Metal, in the hands of cellist Greg Korniluk, this instrument adds a whole new atmospheric depth to Angher’s more heavier, thrashier Metal. However, even though the cello plays a big and important part in the music, it’s not in your face or smacking you upside the head; it’s just there, doing the biz along with the guitar, bass and drums, adding this rich, deep vibrancy that permeates into your senses, so that you feel it more than hear it. The cello mostly takes the place of rhythm guitar backing up fret-wizard Thibault Abrail who has an awesome array of guitar techniques and styles in his playing arsenal. From clean intros and bridges; crunchy, chugging riffs; squealing pinch harmonics and ripping solos, Thibault delivers the right style and atmosphere at the right time at the right speed; his ability to make an ordinary six string sound like a Middle Eastern Bazuk or Sitar in the intro to Emerge And Be is nothing short of guitar sorcery!

Because of the cello, the music has a vast amount of low end which almost blew my eardrums when I played it full blast in the car. Because of this, bassist Hugo Coste doesn’t really play many highly technical or intricate bass lines, but this doesn’t matter as what he does play is just perfect for the sound as a whole. Yves-Marie Lebert is one of those exceptional drummers with a knack for adding that little bit extra to enhance parts of the song. It may just be a little triplet kick here, a cymbal roll there or a combination kick, cymbal, drum pattern that carries on for a couple of bars; but these little extras along with his quality tight drumming carry the songs at the prescribed pace that would be near impossible for an expert programmer to dial into a drum machine. Singer Adriano Almeida has a wide ranging vocal repertoire that he uses to good effect throughout the album. Chiefly using the gruff smokes 200 a day, gargles with JD and jet fuel vocal he gives the sound the rough edge the majority of the tracks demand. He can, however, change styles in an instant adding some melodic atmosphere with some clean vocals then piling on the anger with forceful shouts, bellows and leather lunged screams; as in Unsaid, the nearest track on the album you’re gonna get to a ballad. The combined efforts of this fivesome adds up to an extremely tight unit that should have record labels queuing at their door.

Angher is a band that definitely stands out from the herd, mainly because of it’s innovative use of a cello to create their unique brand of Metal music, though this is not the only reason. Simple thing is the music they’ve created has wide reaching appeal. This may be stretching it a bit but it’s like any Metalhead, no-matter what their Metal of choice is, can listen to some Iron Maiden. I’m not one of their biggest fans but is I’m over at a friends house or even during band change-overs at gigs, I’m quite happy to listen to some Maiden. This is what I feel about Angher they have something that will appeal to fans of many, many differing genres of Metal. I’ve been listening to Hidden Truth whilst writing this review and there has been much back-tracking when a certain snippet of a song has had one of those deja-vu moments. The drum intro to the track Deadline has me thinking Carcass; yet there are times in a couple of other tracks where Metallica has flashed into my mind; there are also other bits that I’ve lost sleep over trying to pin down what I was reminded of.

When the band sent me Hidden Truth, they also sent me their DVD. It’s kinda along the same lines as Metallica’s Saint Anger DVD extra where the band are playing in their practice room and at the studio. The whole thing is extremely professional and well worth getting hold of. I’m pretty sure if you contacted the band at their Website they will arrange a purchase of either the album or DVD; personally, I’d go for both! If you want to give them a try first, you could check them out at their My Space site, listen to some choons, watch some vids! For many years now I’ve always hunted for bands that have something different to offer, sometimes the ‘Something Different’ doesn’t cut it, but with Angher the something different being the cello is right on the mark. For me, Hidden Truth is certainly my Album Of The Month and if something mighty special doesn’t come along, this is in strong contention for my Album Of The Year. Now, any of you record label dudes reading this – What you waiting for?
Killing Songs :
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