HADES - IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED (Medusa Records)
Pretty unbelievable to see Hades was already formed in 1978. It was Dan Lorenzo who started Hades. From what I've heard he was inspired for the band name by his studies in Greek mythology. They were part of the New Jersey/New York Metal scene, if you ask me a pretty unimaginable scene in those days. After their introduction at one of those mighty ''Metal Massacre'' albums Hades released their first album called ''Resisting Success''. The follow up album, with the remarkable title ''If At First You Don't Succeed', was born in a time when Speed and Thrash Metal reached historical tops of success. To be honest Hades couldn't really make a profit out of it and that's so pitiful. Hades chose the path of very technical music and speediness but never received the success, not at first and not later.
Hades was significant because of the singer Alan Tecchio (singer of Seven Witches nowadays). His 'sirenliked' vocals and strong lungs were remarked by fans of groups in vein of Agent Steel and Anthrax. Because of the kind of Metal Dan Lorenzo wrote, these links were very easy made although I have to admit Hades contained more special and unique elements. The riffs were technical perfect played, very tight and complex. Also the bass guitars, played by Jimmy Shulman, measured up to the rhythm guitar lines and gave Hades a very progressive touch. The music contained a lot of breaks on very speedy snares and because of the high energetic powerful parts the association with Thrash Metal was logic.
The opening track 'Opinionate' is a perfect song to start with, as far as I know it was also branded on that might 'Stars On Thrash' compilation album. Hades uses tons of superfast drum parts on heavy loaded riffs but in each song several breaks are foreseen. Dan Lorenzo's riffs are very recognizable, pretty comparable with Jeff Waters' way of playing, but I have to admit I prefer Lorenzo's solos. It is the main reason why superb songs like 'Face The Fat Reality', 'Rebel Without A Brain' and 'Diplomatic Immunity' belong to my favorite ones. Hades was also a band with a message in their lyrics, often with a political background. Next to the music it proved these guys were not only gifted musicians but also intellectual artists. Some musical parts, like for example in the previous mentioned 'Diplomatic immunity' sound like pure jazz (in Heavy Metal version) and are the evidence of the brilliance of Dan Lorenzo's talent as a song-writer. Another outstanding piece of art is the acoustic 'Tears of Orpheus'; pure classical music! The mixture of dynamic and powerful Metal on the one hand and the innovating clever written stellar musicianship on the other hand made Hades 'one of a kind'. The fact Alan Tecchio later choose to be a member of Watchtower, a band that exaggerated in proving their technical skills in music, is logic when you know what Hades is standing for.
Hades didn't really care for melodic and harmonious refrains what made their stuff often far too difficult for the listeners. Owning too much talent was, in my personal opinion, the reason why they never broke through in a period that was overcrowded by fantastic Thrash Metal bands. Hades' way of delivering a precious amalgam of musical elements was, on this scale, was not seen before in Thrash Metal. I suppose the world wasn't ready for it... The big crowd wanted superfast and super heavy Metal music and it took too much concentration to listen to such difficult music at that point. Hades was probably too ambitious in those days and it killed them for the first time in 1989. Lorenzo and Tecchio started the Progressive Non-Fiction, but once again it was a failure. It might be the red line of their life story, both are super gifted musicians with loads of talent but were never able to be triumphant because of it. Nowadays, Progressive Metal opened a lot of eyes and maybe Hades would have more chances to walk the glorious path.
Hades returned in 1995 but wasn't able to receive the attention of the media. Their albums contained more mid tempo technical Metal, mostly without recognizable refrains and choruses. You don't hear me say these releases aren't worth checking out because ''$avior$elf'' and ''The Downside'' (with the prediction of 9/11!) were superb as well, maybe we'll talk about them later.
My Points: 95 / 100