Hydra Vein

HYDRA VEIN hailing from Brighton, UK are back! The Thrash Metal band were formed initially […]
January 2, 2023
Hydra Vein - Unlamented album cover

HYDRA VEIN hailing from Brighton, UK are back! The Thrash Metal band were formed initially in 1987 and remained active until 1990. During that time, they released two full-length albums. They reformed in 2019 with guitarist Danny Ranger and bassist Damon Maddison two original members being still part of the band. The new album "Unlamented" was recorded at Dutch IJland Studio and engineered by Remko Schouten, Tim Visser, and Diego Gomez Minoli. It was mixed by Remko Schouten, and it has a length of about 38 minutes. The album was released via UK label which is specialized in vinyl re-releases.

It has been more than 30 years since HYDRA VEIN were part of the period when Thrash Metal was at its very best and hugely successful. What has changed since then? The big Thrash Metal bands at the time like KREATOR, EXODUS, or OVERKILL are even bigger today, and those starting their career at around the same time as HYDRA VEIN like TESTAMENT or SEPULTURA are venue selling out bands as well. To put this a little bit into context, the UK have hardly produced legendary Thrash Metal bands, perhaps with exception of ONSLAUGHT and also the Bristol Thrashers are today more popular than ever before.

In terms of the music, all those bands do that what they have done all over the years. The time of experimentation, if there was any at all, is over, bands stick to the well-tried Thrash Metal equation and HYDRA VEIN are not different. After the short instrumental intro "Khuylo", the Thrash Metal attack starts with "Does The End Justify The Means", and it starts fast, aggressive, and with flesh-ripping guitar riffs. The vocals are harsh and deeper compared to many other Thrash Metal voices. The song has the typical textures, with a split into fast verse parts and mid-tempo chorus parts as well as a mid-tempo break during the middle part of the track. A feature of HYDRA VEIN is the set up with three guitars, and the band makes full use of it for the lead guitar solo. The title song "Unlamented" starts with crunching bass lines and powerful riffing. The tempo is slightly slower compared to the preceding track, but it is still a fast track. The vocals have background vocal support for the chorus section and altogether the deep lying vocals are better suited to a song like "Unlamented" compared to "Does The End Justify The Means".

"Eradiction Zone" is a mid-tempo track at a sluggish rhythm. The guitar riffing is heavy and dark. There are tempo changes towards a higher pace for the lead guitar solo, which is the highlight of the track. "Age Of Plague" raises the aggression level compared to "Eradiction Zone". It is a fast track with sharp riffing and crushing bass. "Age Of Plague" has all the ingredients of a great Thrash Metal song, but unfortunately the vocals do not fit well to it. The extended lead guitar solo is very comprehensive and once again highlight of the track. "Age Of Plague" is the official video release, and the YouTube link is given below. "Blood Eagle Dawn" is another cool song in terms of the guitar riffing and bass lines. Starting more towards mid-tempo for the verse parts, it switches to a blistering pace for the bridge and the chorus parts. The guitar riffing is mainly the traditional tight Thrash Metal riffing with a lot of EXODUS vibes in it.

The Thrash Metal assault continues seamlessly with "Blue Lamp" at similar pace and aggression. It is another song with great lead guitar work and that makes "Blue Lamp" to one of the best songs on the album. "Mano A Mano" is a mid-tempo song with simple, but effective guitar riffing. There are a few down-tempo parts during the bridges and for the break introducing the lead guitar solo, which is again the best part of the song. The album finishes with "Twilight" and it finishes with pace, aggression, and great guitar riffing. "Twilight" has a lot of tempo switches between fast parts during the verse sections, and mid-tempo parts for the chorus section and the break for the lead guitar solo. The song is another album highlight and a good way to finish the album.

It seems that HYDRA VEIN were just in hibernation for an extended period of 30 years. "Unlamented" is pure Thrash Metal in the best tradition of the 80s. HYDRA VEIN do not experiment, it is the classical Thrash Metal sound with the traditional crushing riffs and bass lines. The three guitarists give more options for the lead guitar solos and HYDRA VEIN make use of it. Downside of the album are the vocals, which often do not really fit to the sound. The album is well produced. It is good to see Thrash Metal bands stick to the classical Thrash Metal sound, and "Unlamented" is an album that will be surely liked by Thrash Metal fans.

8 / 10









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"Unlamented" Track-listing:

1. Khuylo
2. Does The End Justify The Means
3. Unlamented
4. Eradiction Zone
5. Age Of Plague
6. Blood Eagle Dawn
7. Blue Lamp
8. Mano A Mano
9. Twilight

Hydra Vein Lineup:

James Manley-Bird - Vocals
Danny Ranger - Guitars
Henry Pol ­ Guitars
Jonas Voorspoels ­ Guitars
John den Buitelaar - Drums
Damon Maddison ­ Bass

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