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Album Review

Hellions – Opera Oblivia

Hellions - Opera Oblivia

‘Opera Oblivia’ is the sound of Hellions coming of age.

Label: UNFD
Released: 29th July 2016

Rating: ★★★★

You don’t need to look further than the title of Hellions’ latest audible effort to infer that they’re aiming for something more. ‘Opera Oblivia’ incites visions of scope, grandeur and theatricality; not something you’d expect from the Australian hardcore mob, as good as they are.

Silenced from the off as opening track, ‘24’ demonstrates that Hellions are capable of delivering music that evokes mastery far beyond their station. There’s room to breathe and subtle operatic harmonies that are elevated throughout by the bright, dramatic guitar line. Impressive, no?

First single, ‘Quality Of Life’ roars into action with the chug and drawl one might normally associate with Hellions, but it quickly gives life to a chorus that feels far bigger than anything the band have put their name to before. Its roots are in hardcore’s ironic pairing of positive preaching and anti-establishment attitude, but its ambitions are far beyond genre. It’s quickly followed by ballad-esque, ‘Thresher’, which proves that Hellions are prepared to venture into far uncharted territory in order to push their boundaries.

This is all not to say that they’ve forgotten their past too fast, ‘Lotus Eater’ and ‘Bad Way’ exemplify rolling hooks that hint at their evolution, but they’re hooks that are catchy beyond belief. ‘Opera Oblivia’ appears as a record that struggles to contain the ideas being put forward.

There’s a renewed confidence in their Australian swagger of old as Hellions’ horizons are broadened beyond any expectations and without any expectation at that. ‘Nuestra Culpa’ provides an emotional, yet empowering, moment of calm before one last flourish of hardcore splendour in the enveloping closing track, ‘25’.

‘Opera Oblivia’ is the sound of Hellions coming of age and what comes next may be very special indeed. Jack Glasscock