With a burning American flag on the cover, Hades are bound to draw some controversy. Never mind if the election of a certain person as president shakes the very foundations of common sense, there are still many people who hold the US of A in great esteem. It is not my place to say that I don't understand those people, no, instead I shall limit myself to Hades' latest, "DamNation".

Ever since their reunion effort, "$avoir Self", the band have grown. Their music has become ever tighter, their compositions more mature. And in particular Alan Tecchio's vocals have regained the power they had. Perhaps not quite as extravagent as in Watchtower - thankfully - but nonetheless more soaring and powerful than they have been in a long time. Production values have similarly improved.

Style-wise, Hades mix up-tempo metal tracks with more heavy, slower stuff. The first couple of tracks on "DamNation" fall in the former category, the rest in the latter. I prefer the latter, which thankfully dominate the album. Songs like "Biocaust", "Stop and Go" and "Stressfest" make profound metal sense. These tracks will cause fans of their previous album to flock to the record stores, like they should.

I wonder how many US record stores will ban the album because of the cover. Who knows, this same cover might make it a bit of a smash hit in the Middle East :-) (well, I guess not actually)



Written April 2001


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