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Hydrogyn - 2006 Bombshell



ARTIST: Hydrogyn
ALBUM: Bombshell
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2006
SPONSOR: Chavis Records

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Julie Westlake - vocals * Jeff Westlake - guitar * Chris Stewart - guitar * Dave Moody - bass * Jerry Lawson - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Vesper's Song * 02 Blind * 03 Look Away * 04 Breaking Me Down * 05 I've Been Waiting * 06 Confession * 07 Love Spoke * 08 Back In Black * 09 The Sand * 10 Whisper * 11 Circle * 12 Book Of Names * 13 Come Back To Me * 14 Mutilated Mind

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.hydrogyn.com


Background
Another recent discovery of Chavis Records, Hydrogyn have caused an online media stir with this release, their second following 2004's 'Best Served With Volume'. The fuss no doubt is attracted by vocalist Julie's sex appeal, giving this modern metal act a large marketable aspect that from all indications is paying off handsomely with positive reviews from all sectors and according to the band ever increasing audiences. Gaining the services of one time production king Michel Wagener hasn't hurt Hydrogyn either, as he was impressed by their sound enough to offer his services. Given the significant hype awarded Hydrogyn it would be superfluous to say this is breakthrough and innovative, in reality it's little more than competent hard rock spiced up with the female powerhouse frontwoman element.


The Songs
With the surge of women fronting contemporary heavy acts like Lacuna Coil, Evanescence , Benedictum and Arch Enemy, Hydrogyn seem well poised to conquer that offshoot genre. 'Yesper's Song' introduces Julie's vocal style, which compared to some of the more noteworthy female AOR and hard rock heroes of yore isn't anywhere near as effective, the delivery lacking real character but overshadowing the music, competent melodic metal. The guitar tandem has their share of moments, serving up some meaty riffs that on occasion are a throwback to metal's classic days and 'Blind' is an example of this handsome approach. 'Look Away S.P.' is moderate grunge and Julie's vocals on 'Breaking Me Down' are very close to that of Evanescence, with a more acceptable range of melody. 'Love Spoke' is far lighter, geared towards today's rock radio, flirting with pop. A cover of 'Back In Black' does little to enhance proceedings, you'll be missing Brian Johnson guaranteed and the original's heaviness is missing. 'Whisper' is a fully fledged ballad with little to report on any front melody and metal wise and 'Circles' continues this lightweight direction. 'Book Of Names' tries to amend matters but I believe at fourteen tracks it's too much and the overall sound varies little near the end, one track after the other dissolving into repetition.


In Summary
As a piece of modern alternative rock this is a definite step in the right direction for Hydrogyn. To suggest this qualifies distinctly as metal or melodic rock is untrue, as it straddles the fence slightly but isn't quite heavy enough I'm afraid. Chavis Records appear to be expanding their outlook with Hydrogyn and Violent Divine, a shift away from the true metal sounds of Wycked Synn and Python, which admittedly has less chance of success in today's market than their more accessible labelmates. Like Violent Divine, Hydrogyn will be of interest to those looking for something modern with the addition of the not so uncommon female with balls element. For most aging punsters I can't see them abandoning Teri DeSario for this!


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