Twenty years is a long time to be in a band. Many won’t get near this milestone and there are as many reasons why as there are failed bands. So it’s with an eager anticipation I flick the switch on Hibria’s XX to see what these Brazilian boys have to offer…
…And they bring a lot to the table. This is a band that have matured and fully realised their potential. That’s not to say they have nowhere to go, but they’re bloody good at what they do. There’s nothing more entertaining than a talented bunch of people making music and clearly enjoying what they’re doing.
XX feels a bit short with 7 tracks on offer, but it packs in a hell of a lot more than most other bands could do over a double disc odyssey. The first half of the album throws three new tracks at you, while the remaining four live tracks take us back to previous greats. Hibria have a classic hard rock feel with hints of jazz, blues, thrash and funk. Yes, funk.
Leading Lady starts us off with an intro I dare you to not instantly love. Iuri Sanson’s vocals have a comfy, well-worn in feel and fit the music perfectly. Ivan Beck’s dynamite bass shines through where it’s not expected. Abel Camargo and Renato Osorio have an impressively varied set of skills, ranging from amazingly fast, technical riffage to lazy blues.
All together Hibria give off a sense that they are really comfortable with where they are. The sound is well polished and it sounds like they’re really just having a great time with each other and you happen to be in the room too.
Music shifts gear slightly with full sounding meaty guitars. Iuri has a great voice that crosses between Brian Johnson and Axl Rose – but in a great way. It’s so easy to listen to.
Funky breakdown. Was not expecting that, but it was perfect.
Fools Paradise greets us with full bodied rhythm and some great bass solo work. This song has a nice gallop and a great contrast with slower vocals. Eduardo Baldo’s drumming really shines here. Get your lighters out for this one.
Now, onto the live section. Hibria have always had a great stage presence and these tracks show it in spades.
Silent Revenge, Lonely Fight, Tightrope and Tiger Punch were recorded live last November in Porto Alegre and show how well the band plays live. These guys know what they’re doing. The levels are spot on and everything flows effortlessly.
This is easily the best music I’ve heard from Brazil. Ever. Where can I get a patch for my jacket?
XX is out now on Test Your Metal Records.