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  HDK
'Serenades Of The Netherworld'
(Revolutionary Records)
Release Date: From 01/03/14


Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland



hdk

HDK (Hate Death Kill) is a project put together by ex After Forever guitarist Sander Gommans and released a heavy, angry, powerful metal debut 'System Overload' in 2009. Five years on the project has been revived with 'Serenades Of The Netherworld', a very different beast released in a very different time.

The album is on the Dutchman's own label this time round and in the current state of the music industry is being released (to start with at least) experimentally one track at a time. This subject is covered extensively in an interview I did with Mr Gommans and his partner and vocalist on both HDK releases Amanda Somerville for MetalTalk.net and there's a link to that at the bottom of this article.

What matters most of course is the music and I have to say on that front that this album is very different and in my opinion much better than 'System Overload'.

Article continues below...



'Revelation' is the first track available for digital download and while the track listing may still be a work in progress at this stage it will surely stay as the album opener. It immediately sounds different to the debut album's angry, dense, aggressive stance with touches of choirs and keyboards over a galloping rhythms and riffing guitars. Still heavy but much more light and shade here.

It's a terrific start and shows off what for me is the album's strongest point, the vocals. Geert Kroes is best know to me from Dutch 21st century grunge band Dead Man's Curse but his performance on this song and the rest of the album is, if you'll pardon the pun, a revelation.

Perfectly at home singing in a strong, clean, melodic style he can also perform what is definitely more of a roar than a grunt. Raw, intense but yet musical he is complemented by the sublime voice of Amanda Somerville, croonng sweetly or soaring majestically to make a dynamic contribution to this song and to the album.

There is so much to enjoy on this album musically too, the sound is crisp and powerful and the guitars sound amazing whether it's the heavy riffing or the fluid, interesting solos which almost leap out of the speakers at you at times. 'Return From Tomorrow' is a good example of how the album manages to be both complex yet enjoyable. There's some heavy, almost detuned riffing, lovely harmonies in a memorable chorus, pomp style keyboards floating over it all and some delightful fluid melodic guitar solos too. It sounds like it could be a mess but it all hangs together perfectly yet doesn't come over as even sitting in a prog Metal pigeonhole.

'Mortal Zombie' starts in thrash Metal style and would be quite at home on the previous album although I think the songwriting is a notch higher and it has keyboard hooks and a mid section build up which adds new dimensions. 'Book Of Lies'' on the other hand has a swirling riff and soaring guitar and vocal melodies that are just so different to anything on the debut.

Even in the context of the change in style from album no 1 I wasn't expecting the eastern tinged beauty and power of 'Eternal Journey' with simply superb vocals from Ms Somerville. It simply crackles with restraint and leaves you wanting more. Also unexpected the title track is a superior example of an epic metal ballad, again with superb vocals.

The longest track 'Omega' is surely intended to be the album closer and starts in acoustic mood before the huge riffs, changing rhythms and layered vocals kick in building up to a complex, epic, menacing conclusion and an ending which leaves you wanting more.

Verdict: All my reviews are honest and an expression of my genuinely held opinions. I have to admit to being a big fan of Amanda Somerville's work and much of Sander Gomman's too so I had high hopes for this album. I wasn't disappointed in any way though, this is an album which has taken the power of HDK, the melody of After Forever and the songwriting nous of Gommans/Somerville/Kroes and created something which is definitely Metal but doesn't really fit into any sub-genre but its' own.

Highly recommended, but don't take my word for it, check out 'Revelation' available now and see if it grabs you like it grabs me.

Line up:
Sander Gommans: After Forever/Trillium/Kiske Somerville (Guitars/Bass)
Amanda Somerville: Trillium, Avanatasia, Kiske Somerville (Vocals)
Geert Kroes: Dead Man’s Curse/BlindSight (Vocals)
Koen Herfst: Dew Scented/ I Chaos/ Armin van Buuren (Drums)
Uri Dijk: Textures (Keys)
Erik van Ittersum: (Keys)

Guests:
Mark Burnash: Trillium (bass)
Paul Owsinski: Trillium (guitar)
Stephen Pursey: (guest solo)

Interview:
http://metaltalk.net/columns/20106638.php

Online:
http//:www.therockstation.eu/2014/#hdk-release
http://www.amandasomerville.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sandergommans




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16.3.14







WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

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Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

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MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

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Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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