Label: Napalm Records

Author: Audrey Gerrard

HIRAES - album01. Shadows Break
02. Under Fire
03. Grain Of Sand
04. 1000 Lights
05. Eyes Over Black
06. Outshine
07. Solitary
08. Strangers
09. Running Out Of Time





Britta Görtz – Vocals
Lukas Kerk – Guitar
Oliver Kirchner – Guitar
Christian Wösten – Bass
Mathias Blässe – Drums

German melodic death metal band HIRAES have released their debut album “Solitary”. Comprising of ex-Dawn Of Disease members Lukas Kerk, Oliver Kirchner, Christian Wösten and Mattias Blässe, with vocalist Britta Görtz (of Critical Mess and ex-Cripper), HIRAES are a solid, talented, and intriguingly complex new formation on the melodeath scene.

The opening piece Shadows Breakintroduces HIRAES’ profound style, with strong melodic leads and a stately disposition driven by thick, catchy riffs and most apparently Görtz’s powerful vocals. From hauntingly whispered lines to guttural rage, Görtz carries HIRAES’ lyrical message, the resounding words ‘forever free’ taking on chilling depth. Moving into Under Fire, it’s refreshing to hear insightful lyricism melded with faster pace. HIRAES exhibits strong ability to compose melodeath tracks with engaging textures and seamless transitions between quite remarkably altering sounds within tracks. Moving into the midsection of the album, Grain Of Sand, while showcasing Görtz’s well-articulated guttural vocals, slides seamlessly from its galloping, almost thrashy opening sound to an excellent, satisfying synthesis of density and melody. While on Grain Of Sandthis ratio is perfect, this a balance that HIRAES aren’t scared to play with. Some tracks such as 1000 Lights are profound and stately, with impressively tough vocal presence, but sit gracefully, perhaps unsettlingly or even jarringly, on the side of melodic, as the tension and emotion build up to a firing finish, driven by drummer Blässe.HIRAES - bandNotably for a debut album, even if not an entirely new configuration, the guitar pairing of Oliver Kirchner and Lukas Kerk is promising. While these two are a familiar pair from Dawn Of Disease, it will be interesting to see how they reinvent this in the HIRAES lineup. Throughout Solitary, the guitar work is brilliant. Particularly, on the faster, more energetic singles Eyes Over Black and title track Solitary, with intricate, playful solos, Kirchner and Kerk showcase phenomenal chops. The indication is that there is a lot more this guitar duo can still unleash. Occasionally the tracks feel a bit sparse of ripping solos, presumably for the sake of overall mood, which may sound like an indulgent issue to raise, but Kirchner and Kerk have immense ability to enrich the tracks with what is clearly highly skilled and emotionally charged guitar presence. The tracks on Solitary that embrace this in a more central place are undoubtedly the strongest. This lineup is strong across the board and a promising example of a melodeath sound that has the potential to be equally vocal-, guitar- and rhythmically-driven ; a tricky formula to balance, but with composition and innovation talents such as those evident on the slightly different track Strangers, HIRAES are off to a resounding start and their future looks bright.

Closing with the melodic strains of Running Out Of Time, the varied emotional range of Solitary becomes confirmed, from catchy swinging rhythms to soothing lyrical solos, to swelling epic dimensions and wistful soloing. Building up to a huge finale, a poetic piano outro finishes this debut stacked with moving and engaging tracks, and massive potential. Overall, a stellar debut and a band to watch.

Website: http://www.hiraes.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hiraes.official
Bandcamp: https://hiraes.bandcamp.com