Album: Hell Awakening
Released date: September 1st, 2017
Genre: Thrash/Groove Metal
Label: Massacre Records
Garrisoned in Landeck, Tyrol, Austria; Silius is a five-piece thrash/groove metal act who had been around since 2013. I heard of the band just last year after their release of their debut studio album “Hell Awakening” under the banner of Massacre Records. Before I was able to get the chance and listen to the whole debut offering, I already heard and read a lot of positive reviews about the album. Having heard those positive remarks, I decided to check out “Hell Awakening” to personally witness the distinguished well-reputed quality of the album that all the other critics were talking about. But after a 40-minute spin of this material, I found out that it really isn’t that great as what other people had dubbed it to be.
Basically, the whole music in this release is just similar as to those modern thrash/groove metal groups that are flocking the metal scene these days. All but one area……the guitar part. I fucking dig the guitar fucking section on this record! Why, you ask? Well, it’s because the guitar riffs found in here are not just a simple Pantera worship riffing, as it has that heavier sound that is more in the vein of late 90s Overkill, Exodus, Testament, and even pre-Black album era Metallica. Yes, it has definite grooves present all over the place, but it escapes being just one-dimensional as it was also loaded with that more traditional fast-paced NWOBHM riffs which are juiced up to thrash metal intensity.
The thick and chugging tone of the guitars in this offering is a strong reminiscent of “Master of Puppets“. It was clearly the intention of Silius to pep up the guitar section with some immense and aggressive sound which is then in moments bring into a fast-paced assault of riffs to avoid the chance of causing the listeners to lose interest to the entire album. These catchy riffs are devised to get into the audiences head and make them forget about the other elements of the material which are really not even above the average when it comes to memorableness. There are also skillfully placed tempo shifts that help in building momentum to the tracks.
So what about the other instruments and the other modules of “Hell Awakening“? Well, it’s just a bag of lackluster and forgetful departments of drum battering, bass rendering, and vocal delivery. There is no presence of the bass in here. And by that, I mean that the bass is inaudible even when they really have a bassist in the band. Bass tone is a pretty low end and it is not exposed in the mix. For the drum part, it coordinates well with the grooves but it just doesn’t punch as hard as those fiery hammering and pummeling that you expect from a thrash metal record.
Another thing that ruined this offering is the nonassertive and unbelligerent vocal conveyance of the group’s frontman. The dude is clearly trying too hard to achieve something distinctive to his style, but he just can’t get a grip of it. Perhaps if he did not overdo and stayed on a more simpler yet in-your-face haulage he would have made a more decent vocal performance. Now, with all that said, I really did not get why a lot of people had praised this material more than it should be. I mean, the only thing that really saved this release from total chaos is the guitar department with the presence of its strapping and above average two-fisted riff blitz.
While the one redeeming factor had turned this annoying and boring overall output into a rather enjoyable 40-minute material, it still isn’t enough to completely impress the listeners and leave a mark on the genre. I do not recommend this if you are looking for something catchy and memorable, but if you are up to a run-of-the-mill modern groove-laden thrash music, then feel free to purchase this album. This may not be an offering that can be called as the best example of the music in their genre, but despite everything, I still see Silius improving in future releases.