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HI-GH - Night Dances Award winner

HI-GH
Night Dances
by Dorothy Cheng at 26 August 2013, 5:19 PM

Very rarely do you expect Speed Metal to be so heavy on melody, but when you combine it with Punk, a new subgenre of stereotype-defying is born – one called ‘spunk’ by one of its pioneers, HI-GH. When I talk about melody here, I don’t mean ‘melodicity’ as in the vein of CHILDREN OF BODOM with their Bach-inspired lead guitars, neither am I talking about NIGHTWISH, a la melodic singing. I’m talking about music that can be hummed, chanted, or sung along to. Speed Metal is not known for this. In this sense, there’s something very brilliant about HI-GH’S stroke of rebellion. They’re not just taking speed and melding it with Punk – that would almost be like Hardcore, or even Thrash Metal. Instead, what you get is something truly refreshing: something that sounds like punk but feels like Thrash, something that reminds you of the CIRCLE JERKS yet seems to take after DIRTY ROTTEN IMBECILES at the same time… it’s just good old working class fun, and it’s crazy effective.

The opening song “Das Boot” starts out darkly, heavily in line with typical Heavy Metal style here. But then it gets ‘spunky’ – exactly as the band would call it – and it all goes uphill from there. The band goes on to show that they’re one for the unexpected, opening “Zig-Zag Shaped” with melodic lead guitars – something that is not common in either old school Punk, Hardcore or Speed Metal. They also combine chanting, growling, and straight on melodic singing effortlessly through the natural grit of vocalist Slowly.

Honestly, each song really is a joy to listen to – it’s not often the music world and fans of Metal get a real thrashy album that is also very easy on the ears all throughout, that at the same time, manages to be technically worthy. All this elements combined together sound very early-METALLICA, doesn’t it? That being said, the only similarity I can detect between the two is in terms of the solos which are highly melodic and reliant on arpeggios. Other than that, I hear a lot of commercial potential in HI-GH’s work that at the same time does not diminish their underground sound.

They truly are something special. From their speedy riffs to melodic solos to heavy bass and relentless drumming, it’s all very typical Thrash, but it’s got that something extra. Just like how ANTHRAX had New York City grit fused with urban sensibilities, MOTORHEAD with that Rock N’ Roll element and even CARCASS who have over the years took on both melodic styles and Death n’ Roll elements, I predict HI-GH to be a new frontrunner in the scene of “fusion metal” – if it can be called that. With all that energy and raw talent, they can even go further and become a commercial success. Whatever it is, their album was a highlighter of the week and really left an impression. For a band so underground, they truly have a universal sound.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Das Boot
2. Faster! Faster! Faster!
3. Night Dance
4. Zig-Zag Shaped
5. 501st Legion
6. Hydra
7. Let Me Know
8. Unleash the Beast
9. Freeway Madness
10. You’re Going Down (Under the Ground)
11. HI-GH (You Can Make It For Me)
12. Mind’s War and Peace
Lineup:
Smyley – Drums, Vocals
RedEyes – Vocals, Guitars
Psyki – Vocals, Guitars
Slowly – Vocals, Bass
Record Label: L.A. Riot Survivor Records
     


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