The Nations Dust

Hard Excess

HARD EXCESS from Austria is releasing their first full album The Nations Dust.
February 11, 2024

HARD EXCESS from Austria is releasing their first full album The Nations Dust independently as it is done nowadays. Their proposal seems to be a hard rock mixed with heavy metal and bands like AC DC and JUDAS PRIEST are mentioned as influences on their website. The band has a live album released in  2018 but not a full studio album. I do not remember any band that released the live album before the studio. Let's see what they have to offer.

We start the album with a well performed church choir in “Church Is A Dollhouse”. How can I explain what I am hearing? It is a traditional Heavy Metal song that reminds me of SAXON. This is a 7 minute song with almost everything that is possible to add in a Heavy Metal song. I got a little lost with the length of the song, the variety of vocals, repeated melodies and not much memorable parts unfortunately. In the end you kind of wish that it ends, but it doesn't. As suffering as going to church.

We follow with “The East Rock States” that starts with a good guitar introduction and lets us into the first solid riff, and when you think the song will start ,they change the riff again. This tune makes a little more sense musically. With good guitar passages and good riffs. The vocals are a little thin and lack a little power. Much better and shorter than the first one at 3 minutes and 44 seconds.

The third time is “Reckless” and the guitar riffs take you back to the 90’s hard rock with a lot of short chants in between playing with the vocal melody. When used in parsimony, chants are all right,  but when used a lot it tends to get a little boring. Suddenly the band changes to a soft melody that seems a little out of place. The instrumentals and solos are good. Riffs are also top notch but the band seems to get lost a little in the composition that does not follow a logical sequence losing the listener. The song melodies and riffs sound disconnected.

The next one starts with an acoustic guitar melody accompanied by an electric guitar solo. It is “Revenge” and I still have the impression that they have thrown all the riffs and the melody lines in their catalog in one song. The songs are impossible to follow and impossible to sing along. The vocal melodies are all over. This song probably has 10 different guitar riffs and the same number of parts. It does not sound like a cohesive piece.

Once again, the riffs are great but when the song starts and you try to follow, or wait for that melody that catches you and takes you places, you get disappointed. “Mad Desire” is next and I thought it was an instrumental due to so many guitar riffs. When I heard the singer, it took me by surprise. A festival of chants dueling with the vocal melody. The band shoots everywhere and hits nothing. Much more could be done with much less.

We pass the halfway point with “The Riders Of The Apocalypse” that like all the others starts well but it gets lost in the way. I have also to admit that the vocals of guitar player Kaspar Zanon are not very strong and do not have much presence. It could be better with more memorable vocal melodies. They also like dramatic endings in their songs.

Tune number 7 is “Ramses III” and what we start with seems to be the sound of  a citara that is followed by a marching drum beat. Another unnecessary and long introduction to get to the song. It is like the band is trying to write long and epic songs with a lot of moods as IRON MAIDEN do but they get lost in the middle. At 9:05 this song is too long to hear entirely. Is like 3 different songs tied together and they could be divided into 3 reasonable tunes.

The next one is “Night Lady” with another exaggerated introduction that sounds like the end of the song. Despite this, it seems this is the song of the album  that makes the most sense. At least you can sing the chorus and follow the chords and melody. More chants dueling with the vocals and a weird ending. It seems that the rest of the band has to sing something as one voice in every song.

We get close to the end with “The Insurrection”. I can see the great potential in every member and I can also admit that they are good musicians. Perhaps they should not show that much expertise in every song. This is an instrumental and it is the best of the album since there are no vocal melodies (I hope, I am already at minute 5 with no vocals) but with a lot of solos and different riffs. I believe the main purpose of the album is all in this specific song. It is just to show a good instrumental and they accomplish this. By doing so they can go anywhere with the riffs and show their dexterity, after all, it is an instrumental.

We end this somewhat painful journey with “The Insurrection”. Horrible introduction despite good guitar riffage. Disconnected and non memorable melody lines and a lot of chants. When I say chants, it is not backing vocals, it is just a bunch of guys screaming. This is another song that is all over the place. There isn't a single thing you can grab to memorize. It's just a bunch of disconnected riffs and melodies.

Playing instruments is not that hard. You have lessons and you learn. Composing a good song that makes sense and it is captivating is where the talent is really hidden. Impressive musicianship but poor and uninspired compositions. Please concentrate more on the songs than on the dexterity. Vocals are also weak. Leave the excess and keep the hard just like AC DC that you said inspired you.

4 / 10

Nothing special

Songwritting

2

Musicianship

7

Memorability

1

Production

6
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"The Nations Dust" Track-listing:

1-Church Is A Dollhouse

2-The East Rock States

3-Reckless Disease

4-Revenge

5-Mad Desire

6-The Riders Of The Apocalypse

7-Ramses III.

8-Night Lady

9-The Insurrection

10-The Insurrection

Hard Excess Lineup:

Patrick Monitzer-Bass

Edi Ingruber-Drums

Kaspar Zanon-Guitars, Vocals

Patrick Ingruber-Guitars

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