Hysterica - Metalwar 4/5

Reviewed: 4-10-09


1. We are the undertakers
2. Halloween
3. Bless the beast
4. Girls made of heavy metal
5. Louder
6. Metalwar
7. Wreck of society
8. The bitch is back
9. Got the Devil in me
10. Heavy metal man
11. Pain in the ass

Hysterica is an all female band that play traditional, brash heavy metal. In fact, you would almost say if Manowar were women, they would be Hysterica. Or maybe, if Manowar's daughters formed a band, they would be Hysterica. You get the idea. Hysterica completely sells the female version of the Manowar image with this debut 'Metalwar'. Their music is full of metal anthems with a heavy attitude to go with it. They also make it a point to appear in all of their publicity photos wearing tight, revealing clothing (not that there's anything wrong with that). They also go by amusing names like "Bitchie", "RockZilla", and "Hell' n-Drums". Basically, the band is a lot of fun which you can laugh at, laugh with, or just rock out to. Either way it's all good, headbanging fun.

While the band's attitude, image, and lyrics are all very reminiscent of Manowar, musically the first band that springs to mind for comparison's sake is Dream Evil. I also hear a bit of Hammerfall in their sound - particularly in Hysterica's more peppy moments. For the most part Hysterica stick to mid-paced anthems. They do vary the tempos, and no songs ever outlast their welcome, so the CD never plods. Vocalist "Anni De Vil" has a strong, clear voice. Much like Manowar, a lot of the lyrics are delivered in a shouting sort of fashion. Also much like with Manowar, I prefer the more "properly" sung parts, but the shout-a-long choruses always work pretty well. De Vil's voice is perhaps a little too prominent in the mix at times. There is also a brash ringing quality to her voice that might make her a bit of an acquired taste for some, but I enjoy her spirited, enthusiastic croonings.

This CD has an excellent production. Everything sounds clear and polished and it has a big modern sound which I like. All of the songs tend to have (sometimes crushingly) heavy and catchy riffs. I probably most enjoy the faster songs like "Girls made of heavy metal", the title track, and "Pain in the ass" (which shreds), but I really think all the songs are pretty strong. Other preferred songs are "We are the undertakers", "Halloween", and "Wreck of society" (the latter has a teriffic main riff). The band also puts in the odd harmony guitar parts which are always welcome.

If you're hungry for some testost -- ahem... estrogen fueled metal, then Hysterica is it. I struggled figuring out how to score this CD. When you sit and analyze the songs and write out what they are like on paper, nothing about the music seems that outstanding. But, the combination of the music, the general brash attitude, and Anni's blaring vocals make the CD add up to something greater than the sum of its parts. All I know is, I enjoy this CD more each time I hear it, and I just kept thinking that I've enjoyed this more than the last few CDs I've reviewed for the site. Also, there's something magical, horrifying and wonderful about a band that can make me sing along with such lyrics as "I want a heavy metal man!" So if that's not an "excellent" CD, then I don't know what is. Laugh all you want if you wish, but I love me some Hysterica. All hail the lady warriors of steel, who wear their ovaries on the outside! HAIL!




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