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Girish and the Chronicles - Hail to the Heroes Award winner

Girish and the Chronicles
Hail to the Heroes
by Chris Hicklin at 06 May 2022, 11:29 AM

I was unsure what to expect with this release from Indian Hard Rockers GIRISH AND THE CHRONICLES, the album cover and the promo material make them look pretty heavy, and pretty determined chaps. For a little background, the band was formed in 2009 and this is their third full length release so they are no newcomers, although they were not previously on my radar. So, with only the preconceptions formed by looking at a photo to hold me back, I dive in.

First track “Primeval Desire” opens with some big beefy guitar chords before kicking into a sleazy Hard Rock riff. Girish Pradhan’s vocals are raw and raucous on the verses, but on the choruses we have some classic, slick Hair Metal backing vocals. There are some chanting vocals, and a nice hook that sounds a bit like Doctor Rockso from Metalocalypse. This was a cheesy treat, it’s not the most original thing I have ever heard but it was fully committed and the level of performance is very high indeed. “Children of the Night” has more of a Euro Glam Rock flavour and is also very much a fun track before “I’m Not the Devil” takes the album in a completely different and far heavier direction, with a hard and fast riff, pounding drums and an aggressively roared vocal.

Love’s Damnation” screams DEF LEPPARD, both in the groovy riffing, the driving single note bass, synth sounding snare and the fist pumping anthemic chorus. Suraz Sun treats us to an outstanding guitar solo that Steve Clark would have been proud of. “Clearing The Blur” follows with a similar vibe, leaning more towards balladry on the verses, but with another huge chorus with expertly built, pristine harmonies. “Lovers’ Train” reminded me a bit of WHITESNAKE, with the two-part verses moving from jangling clean guitar sounds to tight riffing, while the vocals are soulful and powerful, showing off the big range that Suraz Sun commands.

Rock and Roll Jack” could be right off EXTREME’SPornograffiti” as the funk-soaked riff sounds just like something Nuno Bettencourt might have come up with, in keeping with this the solos are a whammy and pick squeal fest. This has some incredible bass work on it too, Yogesh Pradhan has mastered the art of slap bass and tapping, and pulls off some Billy Sheehan level insanity throughout this track. The bass tone is also very reminiscent of his modern sound as you may have heard with WINERY DOG.

Title track “Hail to the Heroes” arrives heralded by a clean guitar intro of arpeggiating picked notes, before launching into a mid-tempo foot tapper with ruminating verses that put the focus on the heartfelt vocals, while the chorus is a big sing-along affair, with a killer gang vocal hook that will get the crowds up and participating. This one is tailor made for the big stages, you can almost hear the hand claps, even though they aren’t there. “Shamans of Time” is not quite the longest but feels by far the most epic track here, with sparkling acoustic verses, fantastical lyrics and an intense musical section that veers heavily into Progressive Rock territory.

No cheesy Rock album is complete without a ballad, and “Heaven’s Crying” is here to fill those shoes. There’s nothing cheesy about this one though, it’s a superbly composed six-minute opus which gets increasingly interesting as it progresses, introducing sweeping strings and ever more soaring vocals. Not wanting to go out on too serious a note, final track “Rock N’ Roll Fever” is just a little bit of fun to end the party, and having attracted Rock Royalty like Chris Adler to help out, the band have every reason to be happy.

The musicianship on this LP really is next level stuff, they surely must be heading for big things. Yes their sound is an amalgam of things past, but the material is killer, the production absolute quality and the technical level of performance simply peerless. The band are locked-in throughout, and their compositions are complicated but accessible, a formidable Rock machine.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Primeval Desire
2. Children of The Night
3. I’m Not the Devil
4. Love’s Damnation
5. Clearing the Blur
6. Lovers’ Train
7. Rock and Roll Jack
8. Hail to The Heroes (intro)
9. Hail to The Heroes
10, Shamans of Time
11. Heaven’s Crying
12. Rock N’ Roll Fever
Girish Pradhan - Vocals, Rhythm Guitars
Yogesh Pradhan - Bass, Keys, Primary Music Producer
Suraz Sun - Lead Guitars
Nagen Nags – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music


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