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Hero - Hero CD (album) cover

HERO

Hero

 

Heavy Prog

3.16 | 21 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
4 stars Italians serving up sauerkraut like it was Mamma's recipe

With only a few stops left in Italy before my road trip takes me further through Europe, I thought it was about time for an album that sounds completely unlike any other made in its native country. The last review I did, I mentioned Franco Leprino developing his own unique style of electronic music on the back-draft of the Berlin School, but with this zany act called Hero(I have no clue as to why they're named that actually. Feels bizarre when you face the music....) the remnants of that ever so soft and velvety Italian touch are gone - traded in for a bulky in your face attitude and a psychedelic aura about it that screams weed, tandem bikes and crossbows. Recorded in Münich 1972 their self titled album bears absolutely no resemblance to what was happening in Italy around the same time. Whereas a guy like Battiato were fondling up synths and his famous VCS3 much in line with the Krautrockers, with Hero you sense an altogether more rocking approach to the German scene.

Somewhere along a sludgy Van Damme Generator meeting up with the lads from Exmagma, Comus, Birth Control and Eloy and you're nearly there. It's not at all impossible to spot the different influences throughout the album, and tell you the truth, as zany as the album feels and sounds, it's not like it was re-inventing the wheel. Often mad and crazy music gets undeserving accolades of being fabulously progressive, when all the music really's doing is being complex for the sake of being just that: complex. This album is more focused on feel though, and it shows in the interplay. So yeah a lot of balls and fire, but not so much in the original department. Faust fx did this kind of thing far more successful, - and yet when I put on Hero, there's this inexplicable surge of rocking energy pacing through me. It's a pleasure to listen to, simple as that.

The raw hammond organ, the feel of circus and mad theme parks, the forceful guitar riffs emanating a strong Sabbath vibe as well as the more frail acoustic trinkles, the feedback noises - all these are highlights on a record that I only recently have opened up to. The main reason as to why I had a rather hard time getting into it was undoubtedly the vocals. I am and have always been a firm believer of using your native tongue, especially if you speak English like Manuel from Fawlty Towers..... Moreover, when you happen to come from a part of the world, where the language is so expressive and melodic, why would you go ahead and trade all that away with odd 'ze' noises when confronted with a 'th' constellation? (I know the answer to that question though) On here the vocals are definitely an acquired taste, but then again the vocalist does seem to sport a minor crush on the equally challenging vocal chords of one Peter Hammill.

Featured on the Nurse With Wound list, Hero recently seems to have gotten a few reviews scattered across the net, and personally I find that a little heart warming. It may not be the unequivocal masterpiece many of these lost n found treasures are claimed to be, but there's a twinkle in it's eye and a mad groove boosting out of it, that I have come to enjoy immensely.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |

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