HESS Opus 2 CD Review By Euphonia.net

by Jesus Diaz 3/20/2004

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.
His influences are still presented and are the same (please read the review of "Opus 1" for details) but his sound is rounder and this is because his band is a quartet, with a full time bass player.
A nice detail is that inside the CD booklet we find details of who plays every guitar solo in all the tracks. Despite the fact that solos abound in the record, the music is clear production.

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.

Opus 2 artwork

More Opus 2 Reviews:

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. 

- Metallian.com

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.

- GuitarNoise.com

See more Opus 2 reviews

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