Debut solo album from Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser is a double CD affair which will undoubtedly surprise many with its musical variance. Freed from the constraints of his band's constrictive idiom, Kisser allows himself the autonomy to explore his guitar playing and songwriting abilities within a more experimental environment. Sure, what's become known as his 'root guitar' sound is present in a lot of the music, although in the context of a greater compositional diversity. Recruiting several guest musicians, 'Hubris I' is the heavier of the two discs with half of the ten cuts featuring vocals, whereas 'Hubris II' is predominantly instrumental and acoustic-led. Reading the press release actually reveals, to quote the man himself, "Hubris I & II is a finalisation of what I have written since 1997", which is around the time of Max Cavalera's shock departure from Sepultura. So it seems Kisser began extending his creative boundaries many years ago, which probably helps explain the diverse nature of the two 'Hubris' discs. Unfortunately, with that diversity comes a patchiness that leaves me with the feeling I'm listening to a somewhat inconsistent, cobbled together series of ideas from the past twelve years. At least that is my take on 'Hubris I'. Fortunately, 'Hubris II' fares much, much better and is, to my ears, a truly magnificent accomplishment in instrumental acoustic guitar music. Well, acoustic to a degree, as Kisser sneaks in some electric guitar too with some well executed solos, particularly on opening track 'Sad Soil' and 'Page'. And he uses his session musicians well - the wind quintet (featuring bassoon; flute; clarinet; French horn; and oboe) that appears on '0120' (amongst other tracks) accompanies Kisser's acoustic picking both effectively and affectively in what is a sublime piece (apparently a track dedicated to and inspired by his children which perhaps explains its emotive essence). To summarise, 'Hubris I' is good despite its inescapably patchy nature, although it just doesn't shine as much as 'Hubris II' which is worth purchasing Kisser's debut solo effort for alone. A firm 9 out of 10 for the second disc, but just 7 for the first, so I rate this as a very respectable 8 overall. One question though...do we have to wait for another twelve years of collated ideas for his sophomore solo release?!
HUBRIS I & II
Review by Mark Holmes
39:02 (I) & 32:38 (II)
15th June 2009
HUBRIS I: 1) Protest!; 2) Euphoria/Desperation; 3) Eu Humano; 4) The Forum; 5) Virgulandia; 6) God's Laugh; 7) R.H.E.T.; 8) Em Busco Do Ovro; 9) Lava Sky; 10) A Million Judas Iscariotes
HUBRIS II: 1) Sad Soil; 2) Worlds Apart; 3) Breast Feeding; 4) Page; 5) Domenicana; 6) Vivaldi; 7) 0120; 8) Armonia; 9) Hubris; 10) Mythos; 11) O Mais Querido
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...Kisser allows himself the autonomy to explore his guitar playing and songwriting abilities within a more experimental environment."