After a four year absence Hero has returned with a follow up to 2009’s Immortal. One must wonder why it takes so long for some artists to release new music, especially in this age of keeping in the public eye or descending into oblivion. One need not worry as this delay has not altered the Hero sound or presentation one bit.
Afterlife is full of dark gothic melodic metal that is sure to please old fans and make many new ones as well. The music is extremely catchy with plenty of hooks and memorable melodies. If anything Afterlife picks right up where Immortal left off. Michael Hero’s baritone vocal is right there and delivers a strong performance. The guitars are right up front and crunch right along.
Opening with Now Tears are Falling right through Beautiful to the albums tour de force The Dark one thing is for sure, Hero can still put it together and deliver powerful music. This swirling cacophony of gothic metal is going to remain a top player on your music device for a long time to come.
Lyrically Hero delves into areas of the dark places in this world. How we handle the pain of this existence and what comes from it. Who is this person we find within us when we look the mirror and is there an answer to it. The albums center piece The Dark is a declaration of rejection aimed at the Prince of the Power of the Air, wrapped in a delightfully minor key aria.
The sound seems more defined this out on the production side and less boomy. The kick drum is more defined. Afterlife has plenty of atmospherics and dynamics which seem to shine a bit more this time around.
Afterlife is solid metal offering which offers more than a heavy metal experience. This release brings words of life and encouragement to a troubled and shackled world desperate for release. Fans of HIM and other assorted gothic metal acts should find plenty to cheer about here.