Review – Hillward – System – by Progradar

Since the release of their debut album ‘Flies in Amber Stones’ in 2015, Hillward, the heavy progressive rock quintet from Quebec, has been fine-tuning its craft playing local shows including the well known Festival d’Été de Québec in 2016, as well as various opening sets for major bands such as Symphony X and Uriah Heep.

David Lizotte – Vocals & Guitars, Alexandre Lapierre – Guitars & Vocals, André-Philippe Pouliot – Keys & Vocals, Jean-François Boudreault – Bass and Antoine Guertin – Drums & Vocals deliver a brand of progressive rock that is at times brooding and intense and at others, cerebral and thoughtful. 2018 sees the release of their sophomore album ‘System’, which takes those attributes and really expands on them.

The slow building suspense of opener Foster the River is followed by the bombastic riffs and defiant drumming of Long Way Down to give a highly charged opening to the album. The pensive ambience of Haven gives way to the thunderous grandiloquence and musings of Hollow (a personal fave of mine). This is a well wrought collection of intelligent songs given life by the high octane conflagration of the music.

There’s intellect and perception in the violent guitar riffs of both Life in Serigraph and Flat Light, the wistful Fragile is a winsome delight and circle of calmness in the musical storm and everything culminates in the elemental, primeval forces of Behind the Silence.

‘System’ is a high quality release full of original and perceptive songs that come from a band whose minds are brilliantly creative. The music feels like it was spawned from the raging fires of the core of the Earth and gives vibrancy and a primal fervor to this impressive album.

Released 31st July 2018

Order the album on mp3 from bandcamp here

 

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