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Hiraes - "Solitary" (CD)

Hiraes - "Solitary" CD cover image

"Solitary" track listing:

1. Shadows Break
2. Under Fire
3. Grain Of Sand
4. 1000 Lights
5. Eyes Over Black
6. Outshine
7. Solitary
8. Strangers
9. Running Out Of Time

Reviewed by on July 6, 2021

"... it won't win album of the month, it's a solid death metal release, with plenty to entertain die hard fans of the genre."

When Dawn Of Disease announced last year that they were breaking up after seventeen years, fans immediately began to wonder what would be coming next for the musicians. As it turns out, they didn't have to wait very long, as four of the five members resurfaced along with Critical Mess vocalist Britta Görtz, now under the name Hiraes. As a new unit and with something to prove, Hiraes unleashes their debut album, "Solitary."

The album arguably has a strange start, as opening track "Shadows Break" is halfway between an intro and a song. It begins very quietly, with a gradually building guitar which is eventually accompanied by whispering vocals around the one minute mark. Like much of the album, it features some superb guitar work, but nonetheless is a weird way to kick off a death metal album. From here, the single, "Under Fire" kicks in and this is where the record really begins. It was a good choice to present this song as the first taste of Hiraes as for the most part, it encapsulates much of what's on offer.

"Solitary" is unquestionably a death metal album and it never pretends to be anything more. There are some excellent fast and frenzied songs such as "Grain Of Sand" and "Eyes Over Black," which are both highlights on the album, in addition to the more mid-tempo tracks like "Strangers" and "1000 Lights." There are no bad songs on the album, though there are some unremarkable ones and while it won't win album of the month, it's a solid death metal release, with plenty to entertain die-hard fans of the genre.

Hiraes is a band that still has time on their side and the world is yet to see what they can do in a live setting, which has long been where a group defines themselves. They've got off to a good start with "Solitary" and hopefully, it doesn't live up to the title and remain the only Hiraes album, as there is some very good material on show and a lot of promise. It may not be the most amazing of beginnings, but it's not a bad one by any stretch of the imagination, and death metal fans should be keeping an eye, or more appropriately an ear, on the future of Hiraes.

Highs: "Grain Of Sand" and "Eyes Over Black", excellent musicianship and brutal vocals

Lows: Not the most varied of albums which can cause the songs to blend together if the listener isn't paying attention.

Bottom line: A solid start from a band which will surely go down well live and will release better music in the future.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)