CD Reviews

Hiob AD - 'Iron Skies'

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 13, 2018    
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You really do need to be in the right mood to fully appreciate its melancholic beauty.

More often than not, a band's name, album title and artwork will be a good indication of what to expect from them. So, with Hiob AD I presumed it was going to be Scandinavian Power Metal with possible Folk touches. I was very wrong and it's a fine example of how you should never judge a book by its cover. 'Iron Skies' is the debut album from HAD and sees drummer/multi-instrumentalist Oliver Lonien come to the fore with his own band for the very first time. Also, based on his previous acts, which include Punk and Death Metal, you'd be still off the mark on predicting the Hiob AD sound. Even then, it's hard to be pigeonhole it as '...Skies' has a haunting Pop Rock vibe with strong Alt Rock touches and lots of acoustic guitar thrown into the mix.

The album has a strong melancholic feel; it can be very bleak sounding at times and this downbeat edge is accentuated by Lonien's deep and moody vocal style. It's not a commercial album at all and this in itself will make this album an acquired taste. However, I think those people who get hooked in will appreciate this album immensely. If you're curious about the band, checking out 'Mary Ann', 'The Storm' and 'Live To Be Free' would be good starting points. If those songs don't grab your attention, it's highly unlikely this album will be for you. There are some very intriguing aspects to the musicianship, with the mix of acoustic guitars, Pop twists, Blues guitar licks and atmospheric landscapes and I think those looking for something a little more meaningful and experimental will find much to like about this album.

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Many of the songs are inspired by Lonien's strong political and social beliefs so he does put messages and opinions into his lyrics. This doesn't make it the easiest album to connect with and the moody vocals and dark nature of the music can make the sound a little pessimistic. That said, it is thoughtful and, as I'm sure Lonien intended, thought provoking.

Overall 'Iron Skies' is a decent album... if it clicks with your personal musical tastes but it can be very bleak and extremely dark at times, so you really do need to be in the right mood to fully appreciate its melancholic beauty.

Paul Woodward

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