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Gygax - Critical Hits

Gygax
Critical Hits
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 19 May 2016, 6:01 PM

When we speak about the North American Heavy Metal and Hard Rock scenes, we must have in mind that both styles, by now, are almost incrusted in the underground since the 90s. Ever since Grunge Rock and alternative styles became great successes in the USA, both Hard Rock and Heavy Metal went back to the underground. I don't know why in the blazes we can't have both things at same time, but this is what happened back then. But even underground, Metal and Hard Rock keep on, and now, good names are coming back from the past, and new ones are arising in Uncle Sam's country.

And to be honest, the North American quartet GYGAX (from Ventura, California), even on their first album "Critical Hits”, are here to prove my words.

They mix the weight of traditional North American Heavy Metal way with the catchy elements from Hard Rock, creating an appealing form of music. Ok, I know my words don't testify anything new at all, but the personal insight of their musical work is unlike anything we heard before in this particular style; it sounds different and really fresh.

The sound quality of their work is really good. All instruments sound clear, but with the necessary dose of weight. Bottom line is this; it all sounds loud and clear, very much in the style of the good old North American scene. The band contributes captivating musical arrangements, fine and energetic guitars, great work in the rhythm section, and very good vocals. And after fusing all these elements with personality, the final result is something really heavy and catchy.

Their finest moments include "Lesser Magick" (full of energy, with excellent tempos and with the entire band in excellent form on this song), the elegant and strong work of bass and drums heard on "Worldbreaker" (a really charming song), the heavy Hard Rock heard on "Draw Breath", the accessible, Rock'n'Roll oriented "Chain Lightning" (showing fine, melodic vocals along with tasteful guitars), and the atmospheric and tender guitar duets of "Liliana". Overall, the entire album is really good and charming.

Listen to it at high volume levels, dear nieces and nephews.
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Lesser Magick
  2. Worldbreaker
  3. Draw Breath
  4. The Rope of Shadow
  5. Dirge for a Deposed Duke (Instrumental)
  6. Chain Lightning
  7. Demons
  8. Liliana
  9. The Hunter's Heart
Lineup:
Eric Harris - Bass, vocals
Bryant Throckmorton - Guitars
Armand John Lizzy - Guitars
Justin Dempsey - Drums
Record Label: Creator-Destructor Records
     


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