Okay, I’ll admit that what first drew me into Dangerous Days, the debut offering from Italian traditional metal act Hyperion, was its eye catching artwork. I don’t usually gravitate towards heavy metal albums, but I guess that, deep down, I’m no better than a toddler, drawn to bright colors, sci-fi spacesuits and cool-ass monster designs like my 1.5 year old son to literally anything he isn’t supposed to touch. This admission to superficiality aside, Dangerous Days is an album I would have been hooked on even if1 its art had been that of a steaming pile of rainbow colored unicorn dung. It’s not quite great, but it makes for a helluva fun and addicting spin that, unlike so many other modern takes on traditional metal, doesn’t crutch on its influences with its full weight. Moreover, it foreshadows significant room for future growth.

Hyperion is an act that seemingly appeared out of the ether this year with hardly a blip of underground hype behind them, so I essentially had zero expectations going into this release. That was the case, at least, until opening cut “Ultimatum” rocketed my hype levels to the stratosphere. At a refreshingly concise three and a half minutes, this is an immediately engaging thesis statement of everything Dangerous Days has to offer, with speed metal briskness, thrashing gallops, soaring power metal guitar harmonies, and Slough Feg-esque, free-flowing melodic riffs coming together in a stunning track that’s my favorite piece of traditional metal this year. This adrenaline rush of propulsive songwriting is never quite matched elsewhere on the record, but it’s an accurate representation of Hyperion‘s sound regardless, and leads into an album that’s an admirable display of consistent quality.

And really, on the songwriting front, this is the only complaint I can levy against Dangerous Days: it never quite re-elevates to the same level of condensed quality as its excellent introductory track. The rest of the record is certainly good, but the following cuts rarely dip below the five minute mark, and Hyperion’s energy level, which typically sits at an awkward medium between mid-paced stomps and full-on thrashing aggression, never quite makes these longer cuts totally engaging. Yet the constructions themselves can be, at times, deceptively clever. “Ground and Pound” and “The Killing Hope” in particular feature instrumentation that adds and subtracts components and dynamically adjusts the tone and tempo to match the peaks and valleys of the narrative lyrics. With individual topics ranging from boxing matches and trench warfare to invasive government surveillance and epic sci-fi yarns, Dangerous Days is uncommonly intriguing and diverse from a lyrical perspective.

On the performances front, Hyperion is a respectably talented array of musicians, the most immediately impressive being guitarists Davide Cotti and Luca Fortini. Their thrash runs are relatively straightforward, but the melodic and occasionally progressive lead riffs are far more intriguing, and can hold legitimately intriguing note progressions for the attentive ear to uncover. Vocalist Michelangelo Carano, while not the most technically impressive frontman, sports admirable range and a cool accent, and sounds like he’s having a blast with the material. Drummer Marco Jason Beghelli turns in a solid effort that could admittedly use a bit more variety and personality, and the so-so production doesn’t exactly elevate his contribution. The drums and rhythm guitars sport weak tones with the latter lacking clarity in the lower registers, but the mix is at least decent, if unnecessarily compressed.

Hyperion is so, so close to being a great heavy metal release that it feels like I’m giving it the strongest 3.0 possible. At forty-four minutes it strongly encourages back-to-back listens, and even though it doesn’t fulfill the promise of its opening minutes, it so consistently reaches a high bar regardless that I never felt compelled to skip any track. If nothing else, I can’t remember a debut in recent memory that showed greater potential for upward growth; the necessary ingredients for a stellar follow-up are already here, so long as Hyperion can successfully channel them into a sophomore release. Until then, if the idea of a traditional metal album that effortlessly injects elements of thrash and power metal into the proceedings strikes your fancy, Dangerous Days is an easy recommendation.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Fighter Records
Websites: facebook.com/hyperionbandheavy
Releases Worldwide: November 22nd, 2017

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  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    “One Weekend Only
    Appearing at the Chooch Alabama Fair and Celebrity Car Wash”

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Far right dude is worried he was caught scratching his junk.

  • Baltech

    So, the band’s name is Hyperion and the cover clearly depicts The Shrike yet it’s not a concept album based off the novel of the same name? That’s a bit disappointing.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      The title track is, I think.

      • Jón Aldará

        The title track refers to Blade Runner. The chorus is taken pretty much verbatim from Roy’s final speech.

        • Eldritch Elitist

          Oh, sorry, I meant the self-titled track (“Hyperion”). I didn’t catch the Blade Runner references in “Dangerous Days,” so that’s pretty cool!

    • Adrian Shotbolt

      Agreed. The Dan Simmons book is excellent and the band has missed a trick here.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Hyperion (not the Swedish one) – Dangerous Days (not the Perturbator album)

    • brutal_sushi

      Thank Christ I wasn’t the only one who saw Dangerous Days and thought Perturbator!

  • Wow, this is some really good metal. I happen to love Slough Feg (which also has odd vocals which could not be called technically impressive either but fit perfectly). Also, I like the balance of the mix, of course, you knew that’d be the case because the bass is very present.

    I will definitely be supporting these guys and hope they make the be improvements necessary to move from impressive debut to truly great follow up.

    • I do however, not approve of the bass tone, but that’s a separate issue.

    • HeavyMetalHamster

      Slough Feg and Hammers Of Misfortune are fantastic.

    • Which Slough Feg albums would you recommend?
      I only know The Animal Spirits, but would be interested in one or two more good Slough Feg albums.

      • Atavism and Traveller are my favorites. Traveller is a whacky concept album about a space RPG.

        • Thanks! I listened to Atavism yesterday, will give the album a few more spins.

          • What’d ya think? The first few tracks absolutely come out of the gates at full speed and the album never really stops kicking ass. I prefer Traveller, honestly, but both are very enjoyable.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        The August Engine from HoM is exquisite.

      • I love Ape Uprising…

    • I’m so ready for another Slough Feg album – strangely, a bad I discovered by going through the tracklist on Brutal Legend…

      • I never played Brutal Legend, was it any good? I discovered Traveller back in the days of Myspace!

        • My understanding, by the way, is that they are looking for a drummer (I know someone who has been in contact with them, I’m hoping he gets the gig). Maybe then they will record another album.

        • If you like any other Tim Schafer games, then yes. It had a mixed response at the time because people weren’t expecting a real-time strategy game. But gosh, the soundtrack is incredible. They couldn’t release it on its own, but there are Places online you can find it. It’s an education in all things metal…

          • I’ll be checking it out, thank you. For some reason I just assumed the game was lame but knowing that Slough Feg is in it I’m intrigued. I guess I expected it to be only Metallica etc.

    • Luke Fortini

      Hi,I’m Luke Fortini (guitar player) from Hyperion,many thanks for your appreciation!

      • Keep up the good work, sir! You have gained at least one fan in Chicago and I’ll be sure to introduce this to others.

  • Pauline Zipzer

    Dan Simmons baby!

    • Mollusc

      That’s a nice Shrike.

  • Huck N’ Roll

    That sand is not good for robot joints.

  • hallowed

    Needs more Manticora.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      Manticora just got signed to a new label and are currently recording two albums, Black Circus style. Get hyped.

      • hallowed

        Yeah, I’ve read about it earlier today. They’ve put out some killer music over the years.

      • Ooh, I love the Black Circus albums…as long as I don’t focus on the lyrics, which sound like they just tried to smush a few pages of a novel into a song with little regard to whether they words actually fit the melody…

        • Eldritch Elitist

          Funny you should mention that because apparently the new albums are based on an original novel one of the band members wrote.

  • For a fleeting joyful moment, I thought this was Hyperion (the Swedish one). Despite dashing my hopes – the artwork did that pretty damn quickly – this is actually pretty entertaining. Queuing up Seraphical Euphony after this, though.

  • Ta2dlam

    This showed up on NWOTHM’s youtube site a couple weeks ago. I mostly love that metal heads immediately recognized the literary reference in title and artwork. The album is pretty good. Dan Simmons’ books are fantastic.

  • HeavyMetalVan

    Far left dude is Paul Di’anno devolved

  • Thatguy

    Band photo – nerdy guys trying to look cool.

    Fail.

  • Choodi

    This band sounds like they are travelling backwards through time.

  • VikingSchism

    Nice, I enjoy this quite a bit

  • Christopher

    Thought the review was going to be much worse, judging by the album cover.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Neve judge a review by the album cover.

      • Christopher

        Yet it’s somehow so reliable most of the time.

  • GWW

    Phew…for a second i was thinking that was the worst Black Metal album cover in History! That was close. Love Hyperion, the other one. This sounds like some piratey Ale drinker shit! The leather arm bands are so fey (gay).

  • Spread Wide & Panic

    based on that cover I’d be shocked if this wasn’t based on a series of sci-fi books about a planet called…you guessed it, Hyperion. That sharp looking thing is the Shrike.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Pretty decent thrashy album.
    Dudes accent makes me want to stab my ears with knitting needles though. ..

  • la porte

    I know I have already seen this artwork somewhere. Don’t know if it was the official art for the books Hyperion by Dan Simmons, or some very professional fan art that Simmons posted on his website. But yeah, old art. Wonder if they got the rights or if they’ve just snatched it. Need to listen to their music now.

    • Davide Cotti

      Hi la porte, this is Dave from Hyperion. We would never steal the work of another artist, in fact we bought the rights to use the picture from the author (australian artist Alex Ries). Hope you like the album! :)

      • kmanitou81

        Cool, I’ll try to see what other Kassad art he’s done.

        I rarely buy DR5 music, but I’ll make en exception because this is fun.

        • Davide Cotti

          thank you mate!

          • kmanitou81

            Are you planning a more sensible alternate mastering, though? This is more painful than I expected.

      • la porte

        Thank you for the clarification, and sorry if this sounded like a gratuitous accusation. It’s just that I’ve already seen that a few times, the use of uncredited unknown artwork by some bands, and it rubs me the wrong way. Glad to know it isn’t the case here :) The artwork is great, and the album sounds good, too!

  • kmanitou81

    Shade of Siiiiiin!

  • Tofu muncher

    “…elements of thrash and power metal…” I’m sold.