Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Hëssler this year releases their first EP, entitled Bad Blood. The usage of vocalist Lariyah Daniels’ picture on the front cover of the EP and the numerous photos of her flaunting her body on the band’s numerous websites almost make it feel as if it were a gimmick, selling the sexy image of her, and this certainly leaves me slightly apprehensive of the album and what it had to offer. Looking past that though, every album deserves at least a listen before a judgement is passed.
A guitar riff introduces listeners to the opening track of the album, Shark Attack, sounding like it could come off a power metal album, before being joined by another guitar, harmonising the lead lines, Maiden-style, starting off on a promising note. With a female vocalist, one would expect a powerful vocal, but as vocalist Daniels comes in, it gets slightly disappointing as it seems that she isn’t fully exploring her range and vocal prowess, though she seems to thrive on the higher and more challenging notes and on ballads such as Scarlett. In addition, the rest of the band also provide backup vocals which could slightly spoil the songs, though the intention of the band could very well have been to provide a contrast between Daniels’ vocals and the rest of the band. The vocal harmonising also felt off sometimes, and moments like these could have been better off without these harmonising effects.
The music that is executed is pretty good as well and is reminiscent of 80s-styled glam/heavy metal bands, though on Shark Attack the sudden quickening of pace on the chorus and the breaks in the riffs felt slightly awkward. On songs like Crash ‘N Burn there were also moments like these towards the end of the song, and this definitely catches the listener off guard and felt out of place on the song. Guitarists Igz and Dano prove their abilities though, with the numerous melodic guitar solos that are present throughout the album, from the faster-paced ones on Shark Attack to the more melancholic and emotional guitar lines on the intro of Crash ‘N Burn. The first few riffs on Crash ‘N Burn further brings listeners back to the 80s where big hair bands like Mötley Crüe churned out some of their best material, but as usual, vocalist Daniels for some reason doesn’t match the aggressive riffs that are played at the background.
Overall, while the music on the album provides listeners with 30 minutes of decent 80s hard rock/heavy metal with the song structures and the flamboyant guitar solos, Daniels’ vocals seems to be the weakest link, and the album would have certainly benefitted if only she dared to fully explore and utilise her vocals.