HESS Opus 2 CD Review By Euphonia.net
Nearly four years later (and two years after we reviewed HESS "Opus 1") HESS presents us with his second effort with a title that not only gives continuity to the name of his opera prima, but also to his style.
I have not changed my mind, my favorite cuts are those where the instruments are given space to create textures and where acoustic sounds suddenly appear like "The Cynic, The Sad And The Fallen", "What Could Have Been and What Is Not" and the mind-blowing "Beyond the Brink".
However, the Yngwie neo-classical style fans will find more than one reason to break down in tears listening to "Kingdoms" and "Through the Trials". A classy instrumental rock record that accomplishes his goal: to surpass his predecessor.
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I expected equally great album after magnificent "Opus 1". This time we can listen to the Hess brothers' cooperation - Tom (guitars) and Scott (percussion). Here is also Mike Walsh on guitars and Mark Carozza on bass. The second one is Tom's ex-student and a graduate from prestigious Berklee College of Music. Almost five-year awaiting didn't go to waste, because "Opus 2" is as brilliant as its predecessor. The element linking both albums is almost identical covers, and actually photos of satin fabric. Its authoress is Tom's wife - Iwona. Composing process took three years, that's why it wasn't published in 2002, but two years later on. It's also interesting that many ideas were written while Tom stayed in Krakow and derived inspirations from Polish valleys.
- Heavy Metal Pages
Intricately binding of four creative beings expressing magical thought forms into compositional creations that can be heard in Hess-Opus 2. Drawing upon influential aspects of Symphony X, Malmsteen and Dream Theater with Steve Vai to Joe Satrani melodic twists Hess musically charters to places few bands within Progressive/Neo-Classical metal dare to explore.
Opus 2 by Tom Hess’s band, HESS, is quite an achievement. While Tom, in the album’s liner notes, talks of the pieces being " autobiographical in their expression of personal thoughts, emotions, ideas, events, regrets and desires…" it’s hard not to be in awe of it simply from a technical standpoint. This band can play. All in all, Opus 2 is an exhilarating experience. I can’t wait for Opus 3.
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