• 9.5/10
    ANDREAS KISSER - Hubris I & II - 9.5/10


Mascot Records
Release date: June 15, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Andreas Kisser, best known for his guitar playing in Sepultura, has recorded one hell of an album in Hubris. This is a man whose skill has gone unappreciated for far too long. With this release, Kisser makes a resounding statement that the Metal world should take note of. Though you might expect this to be a shred fest par excellence, there’s so much more to this release than that. Kisser is a classically trained guitarist and it’s obvious throughout.

Hubris is a double album. The first disk features heavier and more intense material. Five of the tracks on Hubris I feature vocals. The second disk is a lot mellower and relaxing, with only one song that’s got vox. Those that are into a more classical style will get a lot of pleasure from Hubris II. One of the things that make this release stand out is its sense of balance. If you’re the type that values both hard and soft guitar playing, this is definitely an album you‘ll enjoy.

Kisser is joined by several guests on this album and they all sound like the best Brazil has to offer. He has surrounded himself with some particularly impressive percussionists and it’s also nice that you get a lot of different vocal styles on Hubris.
A track by track breakdown follows.

Hubris I – 39:02 mins.

“Protest!” – Essentially, this is a soft, acoustic, introductory track that features some tribal-like chanting towards the end.

“Euphoria/Desperation” – Here, the heavy guitars kick in and whet your appetite for much of what’s to come.

“Eu Humano” – What makes this one fascinating is the singing, which is in Spanish, and done by Kisser. There’s a very militant feel that‘s conveyed. You don’t need to know what’s being said in order to feel like there’s a heap of attitude being shoved down your throat.

“The Forum” – The heaviness seems to escalate a little, but this time in English. A chorus which implores listeners to “show no mercy,” really leaves you wanting more.

“Virgulandia” – Now Kisser returns to an instrumental base. There’s a lot of counterpoint between the guitars and a somewhat pensive, twisted feel emerges.

“God’s Laugh” – This track signals a return to Spanish singing with a lot of acoustic guitars that succeed in sounding heavy. Presumably, the song is about Brazilian pride. As with “Eu Humano”, there’s plenty of attitude here.

“R.H.E.T.” – This first minute or so is quite atmospheric, and then things morph into an explosive assault. There’s a very “soaring” sound to the guitars. What makes this one even more interesting is the usage of harmonicas, which adds a nice flavor to things. This is possibly the best instrumental on both albums.

“Em Busca Do Ouro” – More Spanish vocalizing on this track and it’s unlike what’s been recorded thus far. The singing is alternately haunting, imposing, and wizened.

“Lava Sky” – This instrumental features a lot of blunt riffing and several different layers of heaviness.

“A Million Judas Iscariotes” – To end Hubris I, there’s a very Middle Eastern vibe at first. About three minutes in, the song becomes more intense. When the vocals emerge, they’re very insistent and demanding. The Middle Eastern influences that seemed to have disappeared are later reintegrated.

Hubris II – 32:38 mins.

“Sad Soil” – What sounds like a harp sets the tone before an electric guitar pierces the soundscape. If you listen to both albums consecutively, it’s clear how nice of a “transition song” this is.

“Worlds Apart” – This is a tasteful and soft track. It has some nice piano playing that easily manages to sooth.

“Breast Feeding” – Now there’s a very tribal feel going on, as if you’re traveling downriver through a South American jungle. The Hispanic influences are particularly clear on this track and the percussive work is impressive.

“Page” – Things get slightly heavier and electric guitars return to the fore. Once again, the drumming is really effective and lends a very weighty feel to the sound.

“Domenicana” – One of the more contemplative instrumentals. Alongside Kisser’s heavy guitars, an organ comes in and adds lots of variance to the song.

“Vivaldi” – As the title implies, this is a track that‘s grounded in the classical style. The playing is tasteful but by no means slow or boring.

“0120” – A very interesting track, in that Kisser decides to incorporate flutes into the sound. Overall, the song seems to suggest growth and has a springtime feel about it.

“Armonia” – Once again, the classical sytlings rear their head. This one has an especially Italian-based feel.

“Hubris” – More classical stuff initially, but when the heavy guitars enter there are lots of flourishes. Some chanting is thrown in and makes for a real sense of grandiosity.

“Mythos” – This is an entirely acoustic affair that seems to prepare the listener for the finality of the albums close.

“O Mais Querido” – A fascinating way to end the album, this is the only track on Hubris II that features vocals. As you listen, it sounds like you’re sitting in on something very familial and personal. The singing sounds like it’s done by an old, but practiced individual. It might not knock your socks off, but it probably isn’t meant to. The vocalizing has a sense of authenticity and originality, definitely not something you hear every day.

Hubris I & II is like a break from the sometimes monotonous world of Metal. If you need something to alleviate any musical boredom you might have, this is a release that could well help you. For anyone that enjoys great guitar playing, this is an absolute must. As long as listeners approach the album openly, they will be richly rewarded. This is an album with an endless amount of feeling and an incredible amount of poise. If you haven’t already heard of Andrea Kisser, Hubris will leave you wishing you’d know of him a long, long time ago.

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