Lion Music
Release date: February 27, 2006

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It’s been two years since the commercial music world last heard from German singer/producer Hubertus Johannes Meisel, commonly known to most as Hubi Meisel. Hubi’s last project was the excellent concept album, EmOcean, which set forth the standard for Hubi’s lastest release, Kailash. Kailash is more of the same, Mood Metal (as affectionately coined by Metal Express Radio’s own Dan Skiba) integrated with a deep and spiritual storyline all accompanied by some quality Progressive Metal and Hubi’s distinct and passionate vocal style.

This time around the story is all about the Himalayas, Tibet, and ancient Buddhist and Hindu mythology. All the tracks on the disc converge to tell the story of a man’s trek across the icy pinnacles of the Himalayas up to the legendary Mt. Kailash where an important secret is finally unveiled. Certainly, this fourteen track “opus” is trivialized by the paltry summary presented in the previous two sentences. This release is initially being offered in a Special Edition Digipack with a sixteen-page full color booklet. Unfortunately, the media is not afforded this booklet, but Metal Express Radio can only assume (and hope) it contains the concept overview presented by Hubi on his website in the form of a twelve page document.

To think this concept came to Hubi one night in a dream, in the form of “beautiful red and golden colors” (which adorn the CD’s cover) and a “vision of huge and majestic mountain chains.” Hubi also began to read books and old writings about Tibetan culture and religion as well as speeches of the 14th Dalai Lama, all which helped form inspirations for the storyline behind Kailash.

Hubi was determined to repeat success by employing the help, once again, of some familiar faces in Vivien Lalu (Lalu) to handle transcribing Hubi’s musical visions and concepts into actual music as well as play keyboards, Marcel Coenen (Sun Caged) to help on Guitars, and skins beater Daniel Flores (Mind’s Eye) to play drums.

Musically, the release is characterized by its fair share of “Mood Metal” interspersed with some amazing rockier Progressive moments. Additionally, in the vocal department, Hubi has (in the words of Chef Emeril Lagasse) “kicked it up a notch!” The release starts in strong fashion with the energetic “Potala Palace,” where the journey begins. The track is filled with some nice, mid-tempo Progressive Rock, which comes across with its own distinctive sound replete with strong guitars, drums and those wonderful Meisel vocal phrasings, akin to a smoother, more soothing Robert Plant. The other musicians also put in very commendable performances, especially the drumming of Daniel Flores, who is steadily becoming a drumming force to be reckoned with and who’s seeing a lot of work of late. The guitars of Coenen and Salán are solid as is the bass work of Niemann.

The “pinnacle” of this release is smack dab in the middle with “Shiva’s Dance,” which opens with a heavy guitar rhythm and an awesome keyboard line and even a little background sitar. Certainly, one of the heaviest cuts on the disc, and all involved shine in their respective way. Just listening to the riff in this track induces visions of the Lord Shiva dancing circles around our adventurer with all four arms flailing in the air. This track alone is worth the “price of admission” for this disc.

When all is said and done, Hubi Meisel has one of the most distinctive voices and vocal stylings in Metal. His artful themes and melodies might not be for everyone, but fans of Hubi’s previous works shouldn’t be disappointed by Kailash. For those not familiar with Hubi’s works, then this one will serve as a great introduction to a musician who is not afraid to step out beyond the boundaries of traditional Progressive Metal. Hubi has a lot of style and is not afraid to dedicate himself to something that sounds a little different than the norm in today’s commercial music market.


Hubi Meisel – Vocals, Production
Vivien Lalu – Keyboards
Marcel Coenen – Guitars
Jorge Salán – Guitars
Joop Walters – Guitars (Bonus Tracks)
Daniel Flores – Drums


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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