Release Date: March 29, 2013
This spring, a trio of power metal musicians based in the Philippines independently released their first full-length, self-titled album onto the power metal community worldwide. A Hero for the World is a relatively young band, harnessing the power of social networking and social media to get their music heard. With their debut album streaming on their Bandcamp site, videos on Youtube, hard copies available on Amazon, and digital copies on iTunes, they have been quite successful at this daunting task.
The band consists of two Swedes, Jacob Kaasgaard (vocals, keyboards, composer) and David Sivelind (guitar, bass) and an American drummer, Andy Gentile. The production quality of the album would hardly lead you to believe that it is an independent debut album, let alone make it obvious that the musicians are countries apart.
The album begins rather abruptly with layered vocals, expressing “We will fight fire with fire” on the track “We Are Forever” and although it’s off-putting at first, the song grows into a surprisingly melodic track with wonderful vocal melodies and guitar licks. It’s a fittingly strong start to an album that never seems to die out.
“Free Forever” slows the album down a bit in tempo and brings out a calmer side to the musicians all around. Kassgaard’s ballad vocals are low but strong, and the keyboard work is phenomenal. The song also features female singer, Louiebeth Aratan who is also from the Philippines. It is definitely an unexpected sound but her vocal style is proper for the song and works really well with Kassgaard’s. Immediately following the ballad, the album picks back up with a lovely falsetto and haunting vocal layering on “Let it Go”. The drumming style of Gentile brings in a nice anthem-like beat to the track and really helps it move along, while the lead guitar parts from Sivelind feature neo-classical inspired movements matching the vocal melodies perfectly, creating one hell of a power metal composition.
“Heaven’s Eyes” is a gritty, driving tune, and features a rather amazing vocal feature towards the end, which I would put money on being one of the highest falsetto’s I have heard ever recorded so well. My jaw was on the ground upon first listen, so kudos to you Kaasgaard. The album keeps your interest so well that before you know it, the finale is upon you.
The record ends with three intertwined tracks all telling one story about the hero of the world. Most albums (especially in power metal) have some creative and solid way to end, but the track “One Hope of Light” is the epitome of a perfect finale. It combines bits and pieces from the album as a whole, composed into one beautiful epic, lasting over ten minutes, but seems to fly by. The acoustic guitar work, the keyboard flourishes, the quiet but moving bass lines, and the at times tribal-like drums, just make for one truly astonishing track.
A concrete power metal album, with perfect drums, rhythm and lead string work, and strong embellished power metal vocals, A Hero for the World has definitely created something to be proud of. Their debut album has set the bar quite high for any work the band writes in the future. To get your hands on the music, check out the links below, or as mentioned in the first paragraph, you can pretty much find these guys anywhere.