"Bootlegged in Boston 1988" (Cruz Del Dur; 2008)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

This DVD contains a rather raw recording of Hades playing nine tracks live twenty years ago. The "Bootlegged" part of the title is no lie as the sound and picture quality are at best rather crude. We are treated to the show as filmed by someone who was close to the stage, but off to the left and with a bit of an orange haze hanging around the picture for most of the show.

Diehard fans are going to love this DVD because it captures the band playing at their peak. Hades played a style of metal that was caught between classic metal like Iron Maiden and the popular thrash of the times. They could play, but for me they really just decent at best. The talent was evident, but Hades just came across as a band who would have benefitted from letting loose more often. They were one of those bands who were kind of on the brink of being really good, but they didn't push far enough.

Still, this show goes back to a time when metal like this was still thriving and the band and the audience are really feeding off of one another. Of course, being a bootleg, it's the same view the whole time which gets a little old because I kept wanting to be able to see the band from the front, but that wasn't going to happen.

The disc also includes a documentary that was far more interesting to me than the concert. It explores back to 1978, when the band originated, and then work its way through time telling of the significant events in Hades history. The tale they weave is one of a band who had high hopes for success, but eventually they gave up when the realization hit them that is going to more difficult than they thought.

Hades played various reunion shows in the 90s and then reformed for a series of albums. Band members have also been in various other projects over the years.

This package is much more for the very dedicated fans only.

For more information, check out http://www.hadesusa.com

"DamNation" (Metal Blade; 2001)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"DamNation" shows a marked improvement over the band's previous effort, "The Downside." The songwriting is far more consistent and even here and, when coupled with the band's above-average musical talent (both instrumentally and vocally) "DamNation" delivers in a big way.

Pounding, razor-sharp guitars, screeching Dickinson-like vocals and jack-hammer rhythms give "DamNation" a pure heavy metal sound that will thrill hangbangers of all styles. If I had to use one word to describe "DamNation," I'd say "heavy." The CD rocks hard from the first track to the last, and range from Iron Maiden-like shredfests to Black Sabbath-like power drubbings. 

And don't let the burning flag and the album title turn you away: If "DamNation" curses anything, it's politicians, not America. And it's hard to argue with that.

Hades: Dan Lorenzo - guitar, backing vocals; Ron Lipnicki - drums; Alan Tecchio - vocals; Jimmy Schulman - bass; Ed Fuhrman - Guitar.

For more information, check out http://www.hadesusa.com

"The Downside" (Metal Blade; 2000)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

When "The Downside" was released in 2000, it was easy to shrug off its lyrical content as just black-helicopter-conspiracy-theorist nonsense. This was especially easy since the first time I listened to the CD, it was well past the May 5, 2000 date mentioned in track 2, "Align The Planets" as the possible end of the world.

Now, after the horrible attacks of September 11, 2001, there's a certain eeriness that occurs when listening to the album's first track, entitled "Ground Zero, NYC." And, yes, the song is about a terrorist attack on The Big Apple.

Lyrical premonitions aside, "The Downside" is an adequate heavy metal record. Heavy on the guitars (and with heavy guitars, at that), the band's unique style uses vocals as an instrument as often as guitars, bass and drum. And vocalist Alan Tecchio has one of those banshee screams that will pierce your ears as well as any high-fret lead riff.

Songwriting-wise, however, the band leaves something to be desired. For the most part, the tunes on "The Downside" are clunky and uneven. 

If you're just looking for music that will knock your head off, you've found it with Hades. It you're looking for something a little more fluid in its presentation, then this may not be the band for you.

Hades: Dan Lorenzo - guitars, backing vocals; Alan Tecchio - vocals; Ed Fuhrman - guitars; Dave Lescinsky - drums and vocals. 

For more information, check out http://www.hadesusa.com

"Live On Location" (Grand Slamm; 1992)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Interestingly, "Live on Location" came late in the first part of Hades career. In fact, it was recorded at one of the band's "reunion" concerts, shortly after Hades called it quits (with Dan Lorenzo and Alan Tecchio going on to form Non-Fiction. Of course, Hades re-formed again in 1998 and recorded "$avior$elf," "DamNation" and "The Downside," despite Tecchio's comments on this CD: "Now, as you may or may not know, we're not really a band anymore and this is the last time we're ever, ever, ever gonna play anymore.")

Because it was recorded late in the band's career, "Live on Location" is sort of a greatest hits live collection, featuring many of the best songs from the band's previous albums. Of course, the secret to a successful live album is the band's performance - they've got to be charismatic, strong in the musicianship department and obviously having a good time. That's definitely  the case with "Live On Location." Despite the fact they're "not really a band anymore," they sound tight, energetic and are definitely ready to rock. It doesn't hurt that the audience's reaction is strong throughout. You know what they say - the better an audience, the better the live performance.

Probably because it was recorded in 1992, "Live on Location" does sound a little flat at times but - because it's a live release - it doesn't really have much effect. Overall, Live on Location" still sounds pretty good.

Originally released in 1992, "Live On Location" has since been re-released, deleting two tracks ("M.E.S. Technical Difficulties" and "Diplomatic Immunity") and adding four ("His'n'Hers," "Love, Liking, Nothing," "$avior$elf," and "Book of Lies.") I don't know if it's been re-mastered or not but that would be a nice touch.

Hades: Alan Tecchio - vocals; Dan Lorenzo - guitar, backing vocals; Ed Fuhrman - lead guitar; T. Coombs - drums; Jim Schulman - bass.

For more information, check out http://www.hadesusa.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Jun 2022 15:54:50 -0400.