Malachite Skies


Following on from a recent review where I was sent a promo that incorporated Symphonic […]
By MarcusTheRocker
April 16, 2015
Hydra - Malachite Skies album cover

Following on from a recent review where I was sent a promo that incorporated Symphonic and Metal music, I was left with a bitter feeling, as I wanted to like it, as it used a mixture of Metal music and orchestral elements but it just wasn't what I was hoping it would be. Will the album in this review help to extinguish that feeling or will it get worse to the point where I'll only listen to videogame music for orchestral and Rock/Metal music together? Let us find out.

The band that I am featuring today is called HYDRA, who this year present to us their debut CD "Malachite Skies", which is out on STF Records. Formed in 2013 in Bavaria in Germany, HYDRA are a six piece Symphonic Metal band who use a combination of symphonic elements, which are incorporated into their sound and their debut album features 10 original recordings which all use these elements and 2 of them feature special guests, which include Liv Kristine (DELAIN) and Maria Raum, so things are starting to sound promising so far.

HYDRA make full use of their symphonic sound with their music, as the first few songs alone give you a good indication of the power that is to be found with Symphonic Metal music with the symphonic sounds usually coming from the keyboards and this can add some haunting elements to the music making it more exciting to listen to, and although that is meant to be the case, there are one or two things which do bug me.

Make no mistake, this is a little bit better then the WINTERAGE album I reviewed recently; the symphonic sound seems to work better for HYDRA but there's a couple of small things I'm unsure of. The production on this album is one of those things, as it is better then what I heard previously and I will give the band some merit and credit for making full use of the Symphonic sound and there are a few moments and songs I did enjoy on this album, but in a few other places, the melodies seem to clash in some spots, making the music sound a tad messy but only by a small fraction though.

Another issue I have here is that, although the Symphonic Metal sound is well mixed for what it is, at times it can often overpower the vocals, making it a bit hard to make out the words as well, which is a bit of a shame, as the vocal performance is quite good for an album of this type but it would have helped if maybe the music was turned down a bit or if the vocal volume was increased, but the problem isn't so large that it stopped me from enjoying the music, as there are a few songs where the volumes of the music and the singer are equally leveled allowing you to equally enjoy both.

Bottom line, the debut from HYDRA is an improvement from the WINTERAGE album I reviewed recently and the Symphonic Metal sound seems to work better for them, as a result which is evident on this album. There are a couple of things which lose it a few review points, but don't let my words put you off, as you should bare in mind that this is their first album after all, so with time, the band can only get better and improve and I look forward to seeing that as I did enjoy this to the point where I would be happy to listen to it again and I would recommend it to anyone who likes hearing symphonic elements being used in Metal music.<

7 / 10


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"Malachite Skies" Track-listing:

1. A Quarter to Reality
2. Towards Copper Shores
3. Sandflower
4. CCC - Swath of Destruction
5. Lone Wolf
6. ICO
7. Ad Infinitum
8. Devastation's Crown
9. Reign in Tears
10. Harvest Neptune

Hydra Lineup:

Lisa Rieger - Vocals
Chris Diefenbach - Guitar
Oliver Loos - Guitar
Dimitri Manevski - Bass
Sarah Hafeneder - Keyboard
Jens Viertel - Drums
Liv Kristine - Vocals on "CCC - Swath of Destruction"
Maria Raum - Vocals on "Lone Wolf"

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