blackphoenixrising Februar 2015 über Hydra:

HYDRA - 'Malachite Skies' Album (Due for release on the 20th February through STF Records)
HYDRA are a six piece female fronted Symphonic/Melodic Metal band hailing from Regensburg in Germany.

A lone piano leads us into 'A Quarter To Reality', followed by rising female vocals and light percussion, the track builds gradually with the addition of orchestral arrangements, soulful guitars and backing vocal melodies, providing a gentle but dramatic introduction to the album. In complete contrast 'Towards Copper Shores' opens with choral voices, manic keyboards, orchestrations, riffing guitars and thunderous 'double kicks' as the track sets off at a breakneck pace. The music drops away suddenly with the introduction of front woman Lisa Rieger's powerful, high pitched vocals before picking up again into the songs rising, fast paced chorus sections. A similar vein follows as proceedings chop and change between the lighter and heavier passages before piano style keyboards bring this storming number to it's conclusion.

'Sandflower' is up next, a mid paced track driven along by heavy percussion with the keyboards and orchestrations providing a catchy melody. Lisa's vocals shine through, rising above the music with ease, especially in the chorus sections, whilst some quality guitar work maintains a cutting edge. The first of two guest singers on the album is Liv Kristine, of Leaves' Eyes, who joins Lisa Rieger on vocal duties in 'CCC - Swath Of Destruction', piano style keyboards and choral voices give way to riffing guitars and pounding drums as heavenly female vocals enter the fray. The track continues to take us on a journey of lighter/heavier twists and turns featuring many different facets and vocal styles, from the rising to the almost spoken. Lisa and Liv's voices combine to great effect whilst wonderful vocal/choral harmonies and orchestral arrangements add to the epic feel of the number.

The second vocal collaboration, a ballad featuring Maria Raum, follows in 'Lone Wolf', piano style keyboards and gentle orchestrations provide the backing to heartfelt female vocals. The track builds slowly with the inclusion of an acoustic guitar and male choral voices, Lisa and Maria's vocals rise in unison above the heavier electric guitar and drums which enter towards the latter stages of the song. 'ICO', a mid paced track that opens with the sounds of a storm before giving way to darker sounding keyboards and solid percussion. Lisa's vocals take on a more forceful edge through the songs heavier opening verse before rising into the lighter chorus section and beyond as the track builds with the inclusion choral voices, nice guitar work and orchestrations before the raging storm returns to bring proceedings to a close.

'Ad Infinitum', sees a change to what has gone before, darker and lighter elements combine to create a chaotic maelstrom of musical delights. Futuristic sounding keyboards and vocal melodies fuse with heavy drum beats, big guitar riffs/solos and orchestrations to provide the backdrop for Lisa's powerful vocals which are joined by female/male backing vocals in the euphoric chorus sections, an excellent track. 'Devastation's Crown' begins with echoey female vocals, the music kicks in, briefly, at a fast pace before dropping away as Lisa's vocals come in backed by driving drums and keyboards. The pace picks again into the chorus sections which features a mix of female/male vocals and bombastic orchestrations. The rest of the track follows a similar pattern, interspersed with melodic keyboards and guitar licks before ending as it began with lone female vocals.

Piano style keyboards open 'Reign In Tears' before heavy percussion and guitars turn up the power, Lisa's voice is sublime and combines with female backing vocals/harmonies to soar above the music with ease. The orchestrations and keyboards provide a dramatic, melodic edge as the quality vocals draw you into this mid paced, enchanting track. Last but certainly not least is 'Harvest Neptune', by far the longest track on the album, weighing in at over 8 minutes. A song of two completely different halves, beginning with gentle keyboards and orchestrations backing divine female lead and backing vocals, which have choir quality, in a slow paced, ballad like section. The orchestrations take on a darker feel before pounding drums and guitars kick in and Lisa's vocals take on harder edge as the pace and heaviness of the track increases before easing off again towards the end, bringing proceedings to a lighter, epic sounding conclusion.

'Malachite Skies' is a superb debut album, lighter and darker elements combine with outstanding vocals, musicianship and orchestrations to provide ten tracks of quality Symphonic/Melodic Metal music with a diversity that is refreshing. Highly Recommended Listening ...... 10/10

Black Phoenix @ Black Phoenix Rising