Andreas Kisser has been one of extreme metal’s greatest lead guitarists for nearly 20 years and it is only until now that he has released his first solo album, Hubris I & II. The first thing that you should know about the double-CD album is that it is not a guitar shred instrumental nor is it a metal album. Hubris I & II is a showcase of Andreas‘ interests in classic rock, classical guitar, eastern music, percussion, and various genres of Brazilian music. The album carries a very unambashed Brazilian feel throughout.
The first disc, Hubris I, is an electric guitar-based album with a healthy dose of acoustic guitars used throughout. The first two songs, “Protest!” and “Euphoria/Desperation,” serve as a warm up before the rockin’ “Eu Humano” comes in with its infectious hooks and vocal lines by Andreas himself. The song also has a smokin’ guitar solo. “A Million Judas Iscariotes” has a long sitar intro before it breaks into a heavy rock song with an eastern feel. Throughout the disc, the songs feature quite a wide diversity of feels, flavors, and sounds. All of the guest vocalists, who sing in Portuguese, do a great job in contributing their unique voices. While some may be expect or desire to hear Andreas shred the fretboard, his solos are always about “feel” and he always plays what the song calls for. This results in tasty and tasteful Andreas-style solos.
Second disc, Hubris II, is an acoustic/classical guitar-based album with mostly instrumentals. It has a totally different vibe than it’s rock-based counterpart. The songs are often more delicate, subtle, yet still possess character. Musically, there is much ear candy to be heard with song arrangements that allow each instrument’s voice to play a vital role. “0120” is a stand out with its classical style and wind quintet composed of bassoon, flute, clarinet, French horn, and oboe.
Hubris I & II takes time to grow on you. It’s not the type of release that will blow you away on first listen. The quality is really found in the subtleties and the songwriting prowess displayed. Often times, you’ll forget you’re listening to the guitarist of SEPULTURA. And this turns out to be a very good thing. (Mascot Records)