Monday, August 4, 2014

Hard Tension - Fear and Guilt




If you're not interested in Neoclassical metal or Power Metal, you'll want to skip this review of Portugese Power Metal band Hard Tension's second EP and either browse through the archives looking for death metal, black metal or punk.  Believe me, I understand.  Well, maybe not why so many would choose  to favour straight up black metal.

The vocals of Migas Magalhães will have the no clean vocals running away as they're crisp clear and melodic.  His pipes are reminiscent of Michael Kiske of Helloween during the (Keeper of Seven Keys) period and a young Joe Elliot (Def Leppard) also comes to mind.  The guitar work of Paulos Santos is undeniably influenced by Classical music and traditional Spanish guitar players.  Due to his guitar work, there's an eerie feel to EP opener "Serenade of Fall".  "Harder Faster" shows how tight these guys are as a unit.  The drumming of Tião Costa is varied in tempo from slow to fast belying the songs title however there's no slacking around from any of the guys in Hard Tension as the riffing is quick.  It doesn't sound like anyone is playing catch up with the rhythm section.  There's a psychedelic edge added by the keyboards.  There's a poppy edge in the title track largely  due to the melodic vocals, more standard tempo and the overall crisp clear sound of the recording.  "Heading for the Light" is the heaviest song here with the Portugese boys veering towards Iron Maiden territory vocally and in song structure.   EP closer "Lords of Salem" is more straight forward melodic metal and it's easy to imagine this song going over well in a stadium.

The crisp sound of this recording is great.  Hard Tension really sound they're as well polished as your grandmother's silverware.   Fans of melodic/classical metal bands like Dark Moor will love these guys.

3.5/5

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