Hyperion - Dangerous Days - (9/10)
Published on January 21, 2018
Italian Glory Strikes Again!
When it comes to producing great heavy and power metal bands, Italy’s track record is arguably the second best in the business. Only Germany has a better track record and that is partly due to the sheer volume of great bands that hail from there. Italy may not have the volume but they have the likes of Rhapsody (of Fire), Ancestral, Icy Steel, Holy Knights, 4th Dimension, and Thy Majestie to make up for it. Now comes a new name in Italian heavy metal, Hyperion. Their brand of heavy metal is riff-driven with sci-fi lyrics in the grand tradition of bands like Scanner and Iron Savior. Dangerous Days is their debut full-length and it has gained significant traction with heavy and power metal fans. So let us see what this album has to offer and why folks like it so much!
Bands that play straight up heavy metal always bring the riffs and Hyperion is no exception. They may not bring the fastest or the heaviest riffs of the style but for ¾ paced heavy metal, the riffs are rock solid. The riffs are plenty heavy, the melodies are very good and very enjoyable, and the blazing solos help keep the album moving while also displaying serious skill. The guitar work on this album is not earth-shattering or mind-blowing but “Ground and Pound” (DragonForce much?) and “Forbidden Pages” show that Luca and Davide can hold their own with the big boys of heavy metal. “Forbidden Pages” even throws in that one Castlevania melody everyone knows, which is a good bit of fun. This is the second 2017 album to use that melody, with the other one being Resolve by MindMaze. Hyperion actually varies the tempo of the songs a little, which is nice to hear though it is not a ton of variation. When they speed up the riffing, they are perhaps even more successful than they are with the heavier ¾ paced riffs. “The Grave of Time” is the best example of this and might well be the best song on the album.
The bass is audible for most of this album, which is always great to hear. The bass lines themselves are nothing spectacular but they do not need to be. Simply being very good is enough to be an awesome bonus for the listener. Marco’s drumming is pretty standard-fare for heavy metal but he plays with a ton of conviction and decent speed whenever the music calls for it. He plays with a real nice groove on the title track and he makes the most of the cymbals in addition to solid rim drumming. Marco does this throughout the album and his performance is a great one. The title track just happens to be his most standout performance.
Michelangelo Carano is a stellar vocalist and he brings a ton of energy to Hyperion’s sound. His voice sits mostly in the higher range but he does hit a few nice notes in the mid-range. The screams at the end of “Ground and Pound” are totally glorious. Michelangelo’s strength is the power in his voice but he also sings with plenty of melody and balances the two incredibly well. This complements Hyperion’s sound extremely well since they strive for that same balance and achieve it relatively easily.
All told, Dangerous Days is a fantastic album. It knows exactly what kind of heavy metal it wants to be and executes it in true heavy metal fashion by being glorious. Is it album of the year caliber? No not quite because it does not display much creativity. That being said, this is just the beginning for Hyperion. There is plenty of time for them to get even better because they are going places after releasing a debut this great.