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The Risen Dread - Night Hag Award winner

The Risen Dread
Night Hag
by John Foley at 26 January 2022, 10:35 AM

Formed all the way back in 2018 and made up of half Irish and half Brazilian members we got the next big thing from the Ireland metal scene with THE RISEN DREAD and their much anticipated debut album “Night Hag” which was recorded at JSL Studios in Belfast by renowned sound engineer JOSH SID ROBINSON. This is a concept album with each song tackling a different mental illness or in some cases a famous figure with mental illness. The bands name references that feeling of existential dread surfaces within you unknowingly. The band has accomplished a lot in their time together, they released an E.P titled “Delusions” back in 2019 and reached the semi-finals of the Irish Metal To The Masses competition in 2020 and were preparing for a European tour with ASTRAY VALLEY until that dreaded Covid-19 pandemic took over the world. But the spent their time fine tuning these songs and soldiered on with making this album. What was really awesome is that they managed to get the legendary ANDREAS KISSER from the mighty SEPULTURA to play guitar on a track and even got Brazilian composer RENATO ZANUTO to score a song on here too. So enough of me lets dive on in and see what “Night Hag” and THE RISEN DREAD are all about.

The album opens with the track “Psychoses” and we get this bell strike with eerie synth sound with an uneasy sense of dread to it all. The vocals then kick things off as the band smashes their way in. There area real head banging riffs and the chorus is a monster. A guitar solo then rips its way through the song out of nowhere and the drums sound thunderous here. Great way to open the album. Next up is “Silent Disease” and its intro is like a wave crashing in. Very straight forward riffing with no room for messing around. The song has this slightly rise above this feel to it as the lyrics are about that depression demon that wont leave and torments you. The track builds to a killer guitar solo and some double bass pedal madness. Really cool song.

Next up is “Bury Me” with very sinister vibes from the start. This tune is a real mosh pit starter and some of the guitar lines got a slight black metal vibe to them. The music here is chaotic which reflects the lyrical content. The bass then booms its way in as the breakdown hits and is as heavy as hell. It is a really dark song and worth checking out. Then we come to “Obsession” and a drum roll kicks things off and leads the way. The riffs come in and got this old school vibe to them and the song has this great groove going on. The song has this big sounding chorus here and smooth bass lines for the middle section. I banged my head a lot while listening the this one.

The latest single to be released from the album is “Sound Of The Unknown” which opens with this sinister sounding lead guitar line. The riffs here got this heavy groove to them and it reminds me a bit of LAMB OF GOD. There is a bit of a funky sounding bass line that leads into a big sounding chorus. The riffs here are really cool and you can hear the bass breaking through in the mix. For a harsh vocal style you can hear a lot of emotion in the vocal delivery as the lyrics tackle the inner workings of someone suffering from dementia (a subject a little personal to myself). There is of course a face melting guitar solo and this song sums up pretty well with what THE RISEN DREAD are trying to achieve with the albums content.

The song “Fallen” was originally on their E.P “Delusions” and was brought back and reworked for this album. It opens with such a killer riff and the song packs a hell of a punch. This is straight up metal madness. The bass takes command for the middle section as thrashing madness then takes over and a solo that kicks a lot of ass. You can see why this was brought back and is a fan favourite. “Deceiver” is after that one and has some very old school vibes to it from the start, it is a fun thrash style riff. The vocals once again take commend of the song that is filled with awesome riffs. The bass prepares us for the mega breakdown that is going to hit us. The vocals are creeping over this as the song builds up again to lead us out with one last chorus.

With the sound of an air raid or doomsday siren we then get a verbal warning of the incoming “White Knight”. A drum roll starts things off as guitars join in and an unreal riff plays over. You can already tell that this song is going to be huge. The lyrics talk about the infamous JIM JONES and his cult The Peoples Temple and the mass suicide which followed. The chorus here has a big sound to it with some very dark vibes to it. This track is an absolute beast. There are plenty of great moments on this one and it all leads to this unreal killer guitar solo from the legendary ANDREAS KISSER from the mighty SEPULTURA. It is really impressive how they got this guy to play on the album. After this the band sets up for one last chorus to close this one out.

We then get “Coward’s 9” which is also a reworking from their previous E.P and a very popular one amongst their fans. The bass and drums kick things off as the guitar follows and the vocals take lead. This one is heavy with a lot of groove to it. There is a great vocal delivery here and the drumming is really cool. There are some epic sounding guitar lines towards the end as the song closes out. The band waste no time in jumping right into things with “Lazaretto”. There is a really cool dirty sounding riff here for the verse and it does pack a bit of a punch too. The chorus then comes down like a ton of bricks and the middle section here has a lot of style to it. It is mixed with the breakdown too that gets you jumping as this track has a lot of energy to it. A very creative song.

We come to the final song and title track “The Night Hag” with the sound of chines going off and a very cinematic score which was contributed by Brazil’s very own RENATO ZANUTO who did an excellent job composing this score for the band which sounds quiet sinister. The drums come in and a very different vocal style then we got previously here. This song is very different the rest of the tracks and thus so it stands out. One thing that can be said from listening to it is that there is some beauty to be found within the darkness. The guitars and is For those who don’t know sleep paralyses is a state some people fall in that is between being awake and asleep, when you sleep your body paralyzes itself to stop you from acting out dreams but with this condition you are both awake and asleep, you are aware of your surroundings but it also causes terrifying hallucinations and with the body paralyzed you are unable to move. The song then picks up and the vocals really range here. The song just gets bigger and bigger with its haunting lyrics and vocal delivery. With this track the band are really going out with a bang on this one.

One thing you notice from listening to “Night Hag” is that MARCO FELTRIN’s vocals really take command of the songs. The songs are full of heavy grooves and face punching riffs. I was surprised with the amount of melody within some of the songs here as you don’t usually get that with a band like THE RISEN DREAD and it shows a lot of creativity. When researching them I found out that bassist MAT MAHER recorded this with a shoulder injury which is really impressive. The drumming work from COLUM CLEARY is a real driving force here during the songs. WILLIAM RIBEIRO has a cool riff style and the solo’s got a lot of feel to them which is very refreshing. I really look forward to hear what comes next from THE RISEN DREAD as these songs are made to get a crowd to go crazy. “Night Hag” is a great album.

Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Musicianship: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Psychoses
2. Silent Disease
3. Bury Me
4. Obsession
5. Sound Of The Unknown
6. Fallen
7. Deceiver
8. White Knight
9. Coward’s 9
10. Lazzaretto
11. The Night Hag
Marco Feltrin – Vocals
William Ribeiro – Guitars
Mat Maher – Bass
Colum Cleary – Drums
Record Label: WormHoleDeath Productions


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