Release DetailsLABEL Shadow Kingdom Records
RELEASED ON 12/4/2007
Hour Of 13
posted on 3/2008 By:
In the last couple months of 2007 there were, as usual, a lot of albums released that, unfortunately, due to their release date did not make many year end lists. The same thing happens every year, band X gets an album release date in December and half the people that want it don’t get to hear it till the New Year and the album, sadly, does not get the attention it deserves in all those year end lists that come out everywhere. Hour of 13 released that album, the album that should have topped everyone’s list and took the metal world by storm. Of course that didn’t happen and probably wouldn’t have happened regardless of the release date, but it should have.
Hour of 13 started as the brainchild of Chad Davis, possibly known to a few underground metal fans as Drathrul from various other underground bands of the 90’s and 00’s. While creating the musical landscape that was to be Hour of 13’s debut, Chad brought vocalist Philip Swanson (Upwards of Endtime) in to the fold, and was picked up by Shadow Kingdom Records in the process. News came quickly to those who were interested, as well as those that frequented the label’s website, and anticipation grew quickly, especially when album quality samples were released through the band’s Myspace. Initial reaction among interested parties was that Hour of 13 seemed to channel the spirit of early Black Sabbath, as well as 70’s Judas Priest into an interesting mould that was only honed and brought out with inventive arrangements and Swanson’s unique vocal approach.
Of course, upon obtaining a hard copy of the album, not long after its release, I was blown away. The album fulfilled and exceeded all the expectations that had been created with the samples and artwork. Hour of 13’s debut is a traditional metal album pulled out of the 70’s, giving nods to the aforementioned bands but still being able to pave a path of their own. The album’s production is pretty straight, no tricks, a clean yet fuzzed out guitar tone, along with echoed vocals that are powerful and meaningful yet can be dark and haunting, especially when given the dark lyrical bent of the band that delves into religious beliefs, Satan, and the stars.
The adverse one
Slanderer of favoured son
Oh great hero of hopeless ruin
Bring your wickedness and doom"
The album is anchored by mid-paced speed with a rock solid, steady beat that throws in enough changes and fills to keep things interesting for the guitars that meld nicely overtop. Riffing that encapsulates so much melody is used to add to the darkened, blackened, atmosphere the band creates. The melodic bass groove that opens the album in “Call to Satan” gives way to melodic dual guitar riffing only accents that feeling, the pace obtaining a very nodding quality, almost built for ritual-like activity. “The Correlation” continues much of this mood and feeling, but in a more Judas Priest-like way, especially with the opening that leaves only the main riff for the listener to digest until drawn out vocals overtake the melody and the riffing generates a much heavier feeling over time.
Hour of 13 are on to something special with their debut, this is impeccable songwriting that can't be ignored along with great interplay between Swanson and Davis. One can only hope more people; both music fans and musicians themselves pick up on what this band is doing and take note.
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