Need
Hegaiamas: A Song For Freedom


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mythodea USER (16 Reviews)
January 22nd, 2017 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If 2017 neo-prog introduces itself with such an album, prepare for a great year.


All of us music lovers have experienced that unique feeling of hesitantly checking new music by artists yet unknown, and happily realize they trigger a chain reaction inside us, prompting us to follow them with high fidelity. Such is the case of me and Need, a band I connected with too quickly for my own good, when I first spun their third album three years ago. Uprising bands are often interesting to attend, their course of evolution makes the whole process similar to watching a child grow, from a 'person-to be' lump inside its mother's belly to a fully developed personality.

Need gained massive popularity after the release of their third LP, Orvam: A Song for Home, and grand touring across Europe and America, opening for big names, such as Symphony X and Candlemass. Their vision became clear: sophisticated lyrics, a decent into our thoughts and feelings and a general disdain towards the social structure. The lyrical axis is typical of their progressive metal tendencies, as is their instrumental proficiency - which is a given with Need - , but here is when things start to deviate from the norm.

Need have a certain ritualistic aesthetic, that is put across not only from the songs and albums' titles, but from the music as well. The band is more confident to blend different scales and techniques into their compositions, which is mostly evident vocally. Singer Jon V. usually uses his voice in a more melodic way, emphasizing vowels, in a way reminiscent of eastern music. Additional vocals from Sappho Stavridou only underline that mid-eastern necessity, with gentle dirges and wailings on Tilikum and the title track. For the first time, three singers share the microphone, with keyboardist Anthony being responsible for the harsher parts.

I see Hegaiamas as the other side of the coin in Need's pocket. While Orvam was dark, pessimistic, timid and navel-gazed, Hegaiamas is brighter, optimistic and bursting with energy. The two albums can only be considered twins due to the striking similarities in structure and themes, but are not co-dependent, but rather shine on their own individuality. The stellar production - by the band themselves and Hector Tsolakis (of HD Factory) - makes the songs sound meaty and massive, highlighting the already heavy material. Every little detail is heard, all instruments shine without dragging the music with instrumental blabbering and the songs flow into each other with great ease, almost if it's a single song with different chapters. I.O.T.A. is a dialogue, possibly inspired by the series 'Westoworld', which functions as a prologue to the twenty minute magnum opus that concludes an already spectacular album. The track doesn't collapse under its own weight, showing Need's deeper understanding of composing long epics.

Their use of language is admirable and lyrically it is apparent they have been influenced by the zeitgeist, but they stay at a distance that prevents them from actually taking a stand. The concept of freedom is serious and fragile, but is explored from the typical lyrical generality that prog has us used to. If there is a single complain I would make, that would be it: artists (Need for that matter) shouldn't be afraid to be political and specific.

Despite this minor detail, it is a relief to see artists true to their art, constantly trying to surpass themselves. Need have proved to be a band of great potential and already valuable legacy. Faithful to their predecessors, such as Nevermore, Faith Warning and Dream Theater, carve their own signature sound on the great old tree of progressive metal, giving new life to what could easily be considered as a stale and unbalanced genre.



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mythodea
January 22nd 2017


4148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The whole album is on bandcamp:



https://needband.bandcamp.com/



and on Youtube:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qR-stOV6Zk



streamed by the band themselves.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 22nd 2017


10485 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I expected you to write a review for this one and you delivered, pos.



This is indeed great even though the last 25 minutes or so were too cinematic for me and lagged a bit, but can't complain overall.

Digging: Ruler - Rise to Power

Mythodea
January 22nd 2017


4148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks mano



I like the spoken parts of the album. On Hegaiamas the music intervened with the dialogue and it wroked even more as a soundtrack than with Hotel Oniro, on their previous album. Of course both Hotel and I.O.T.A. are great.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 22nd 2017


10485 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Actually, I haven't checked Orvam yet but your comparison to this album made it even more appealing to me. The final 25 minutes of this album kinda remind me of Dream Theater's closing on Metropolis Pt. 2 on a much larger scale though.

Mythodea
January 22nd 2017


4148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hm, I expected you to say Octavarium. On the last two albums they've closed the curtain with a large epic. I do think it flows really well, though, I don't get bored.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 22nd 2017


10485 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah can't say that the last part of the album bores me overall. A couple more listens though and i will have a much more solid opinion.

ksoflas
January 22nd 2017


1153 Comments


Pos'd hard.
I'll read it tomorrow.

Shiranui
January 23rd 2017


540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is a stellar approach of what neo-prog should sound like. Nice blend of different styles without losing it's heaviness, so glad this got a proper review. Mind pos'd.

Mythodea
January 23rd 2017


4148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why not physically pos as well? :P



Glad you liked it. Need are a great band.

Shiranui
January 23rd 2017


540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No worries, what's done cannot be undone! Actually, i'm not sure about that lol

Mythodea
January 23rd 2017


4148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

errr.... what?

Shiranui
January 23rd 2017


540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't even know if you could take back pos' or neg's on this site.

Mythodea
January 23rd 2017


4148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Let's take it from the beginning. You said you gave a 'mind pos', which means you didn't actually gave a pos, just that you think it was a great review (and somewhere here is where the misunderstanding begun). I said you could give it a pos literally (pressing 'yes'). That's all the frustration for a seriously unimportant matter! :D





Shiranui
January 23rd 2017


540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I hear you. Looks like bad wording from my side. I was trying to tell you not to worry about receiving a pos(gave you one right after commenting).





CaptainDooRight
January 23rd 2017


2206 Comments


this is random

CaptainDooRight
January 23rd 2017


2206 Comments


i do enjoy some parts

InFlamesWeThrash666
January 23rd 2017


6835 Comments


Rememory is such a good song

Digging: Darkthrone - Circle the Wagons

MarsKid
January 29th 2017


5548 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This > New Pain of Salvation



And I haven't even finished the first track

Digging: Planes Mistaken for Stars - Up In Them Guts

Dewinged
February 9th 2017


5759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, pretty neat. Not digging the man's voice and the overall production, but the songs and the execution are impressive.

Digging: Spotlights - Seismic

Dewinged
February 9th 2017


5759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

God baby jesus, Tilikum is so good, those female voices m/



Forgot to say, good review Myth, pos'd. Good job on bringing this guys to the table. Album is dopamine.



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