When my “boss” asked me if I wanted to be Metal Invader’s representative in the listening session for the new Acid Death’s album “Hall Of Mirrors”, the answer could not be different than an absolute yes! Savvas (bass, vocals) and Dennis (guitar), the two guys from older ranks of the scene are my friends since the legendary era of the early 90’s Greek scene. We’ve been fellow travelers and we’ve shared many times the stage when I was a member of Selefice . So, being among the first ones who would listen to the band’s new work and to express my first opinion via Metal Invader filled me with great honor and joy.
The appointment was set for Sunday evening around nine, outside Artworks Studios in Elliniko and Acid Death’s united team (the ones I mentioned earlier) along with guitarist John and drummer Kostas, soon made me think that they have excellent characters and share the same passion for the band equally with the two older guys’ passion). The representatives’ response was extremely successful since about 20 people gathered to cover the event (while at the same time the game between Olympiakos and Real was on). Many of the guest – musicians were present too at the session, as well as the well-known to all Fotis Benardo of Devasounds Studios, who was the (co) producer of the album.
The band had impeccably and professionally organized the night. Once we got into the studio and tried to sit as comfortable as we could in the sofas and chairs and with some beers in hand and drinks available (honored properly), our guys distributed some printed material with all information relevant to the record “Hall Of Mirrors” and thanked us warmly for our presence there. Then they proceeded to a briefing before the hearing.
The band at the end of its partnership with the Austrian Noise Head is in search of a company that is on track and hope for immediate positive effect. The album is consisted of an intro, nine pieces and a multimedia section with a full CV note and multicamera HD live videos from their recent live gig with The Haunted in Kyttaro.The recording and production took place in Devasounds Studios and SIA recordings in Athens by Acid Death and Fotis Benardo. Several guest – musicians, such as Manthos Stergiou (Tardive Dyskinesia), Nikos Melissourgos (Suicidal Angels), Jos Soti (FloatingWorlds), Iliana Tsakirakis (Enemy Of Reality) and Nadia B.
We listened to every track once (in intermediate there was interesting jabber between the band and bystanders), and what is my general impression as a result of this of this first and only hearing is this:
The album is extremely well made, with plenty of talent and it is obvious that the guys bled for this record to be the way it is. I read somewhere (after the concert with The Haunted) that their new material is somewhat grumpy. Totally disagree. There’s a dominative directness found here and there throughout “Hall Of Mirrors” that was gone for quite a long time for Acid Death. The stick-to-mind riffs are everywhere, beautiful melodies and groovy themes but always given in the light of the particular synthetic and technical way that the band is known for. The influences are also obvious since there are freely scattered thrash / old school, classic-metal, yet epic and acoustic elements. There are also quite melodic vocals and for the first time in their career, a track with female vocals. The production is rough, bulky, heavy and a little “back to the roots” but without forgetting that it’s 2015…
“Hall Of Mirrors” begins with the “chaotic” introduction of “Hell’ Maw” leading the way to “Mental Slime” reminding us of the traditional death / thrash roots of the band. In the same logic “Truth Revealed” flows (with the participation of Nikos Melissourgos of Suicidal Angels); thrashy and aggressive. “Life And Death” is the longest track if I’m not mistaken (the album generally has a relatively long duration). Nice introductory riff, technical, with lots of melody and clear vocals; an excellent track and a candidate for the album’s best track!
The “The Unfair Fight” has black metal references, melody and technique. The same -titled “Hall Of Mirrors” is a mid-tempo track with sharp groovy riffs that will be probably (and rightfully) the album’s video clip. “Taste of the Erratic” is another beautiful mid tempo composition with female vocals, melody and epic elements in chorus. “Ghostship”, another track of atmosphere, groove and intimacy. It’s nice and its introductory riff is amazing. The penultimate piece is also quite classic, fast and melodic, called “Planes Of The Eternal Dead”. “Supreme Act Of Heroism” sounds ideal for closure with speed, melody and brilliant guitar touches.
After all that, we saw two live tracks from their performance in Kyttaro, with a very elaborate direction and very good sound.
A single listening is never enough to draw reliable conclusions. “Hall Of Mirrors” won me over; rather easily I would say. It’s an exceptional piece of work made with love for music. Passion, tenacity and hard work never missed this band nor during their first era, nor the last few years with their reunion. I think it’s an album that has all the potential to boost Acid Death even more and I think this belief will easily be noticed when the record will finally be released.
Good luck guys!