Since I'm from Greece, I would like to talk about a relatively unknown band from my country. Hercules is an epic heavy/power metal solo project led by Chris Andreadakes, a very ambitious musician and songwriter. The album that I'm going to discuss here whose title is Victory
, is actually Chris' third studio endeavor, with his debut Metal Pounding
being released in 2016, while a different version of Victory
was released in 2017 but was recorded before Metal Pounding
Hercules draws some influence from Manowar
and Manilla Road
regarding his music and lyrics, but somehow manages to become a very original metal entity on its own. With triumphant riffs and melodies, you could say Hercules is a great non-physical anti-depressant. Hercules' uplifting lyrical themes are also present in Victory
with hopeful phrases such as ''I'll fight fearless to the end'' and ''Your ride cannot be stopped''.
If you are looking for unique vocals, seek no more; Chris has a one of a kind raspy voice and sings the lyrics with a very distinct greek accent. I guarantee, The raw greek spirit and valiance that is emitted from his lungs will make you be hooked with the songs. He can also pull off some very hard to do (at least from my point of view), screams and falsettos that sometimes remind me of a banshee or other beasts from folklore and mythology.
Chris' opus, Victory
is overloaded with great ideas, with them being taken off his mind and not being the object of plagiarism from other bands. I really don't have a specific favorite song to pick from this album (all are unforgettable) but I would definitely recommend ''Victory
'' and its intro with their many transitions and memorable guitar parts and ''Black Curse
'', an instrumental that bring to my mind Omen
's heavier songs such as ''The Axeman'' and ''Shock
Treatment'' but with much more variety and progressive elements. There are lots of great, pure metal riffs to be found in the aforementioned track. Also, I consider ''Bastards Crawl
With Rock n' Roll'' to be one of the best anthems written by Greek bands that pay tribute to the metal life along with Strikelight
I'm generally surprised how the guitars have a raw, fuzzy, high-frequency tone but are still mixed perfectly even if Chris made the album with a very low-budget according to his words. The only downside here on Victory
, is that there is a drum machine doing the drums. As a result, they sound very mechanical, complex, and almost technically impossible to be played by an actual human being. However, I talked with Chris, and he is planning to release a full-length record with an actual, sentient drummer in the future.
In a nutshell, Victory
proves Greece is one of the top countries that release kick-ass, swainy, epic heavy metal, and Hercules specifically, is a pearl among many bands in Greece that play this genre with passion. I suggest you support Chris and other solo acts like this who deserve more attention by buying their music on Bandcamp. One last remark I'd like to make is that the layout and cover art of the CD version of Victory
are amazing and can certainly be admired for hours. lots of detail has been put by George Tolakis. Not to mention, the artwork on the CD looks as if it was taken from a clay pot from ancient Greece!