Boring, unimaginative and drole
Right from the off let's not avoid a bit of a home truth, Hydro is a terrible name for a band. It sounds like the band brought together a focus group of five year olds to pick it. Of course a band names shouldn't affect the quality of its music, but you still end up turning this on with the feeling that it wasn't going to be overly impressive. It shouldn't be a chore to listen to music, and this is exactly what it felt like with this album. If you make it all the way through then you deserve some kind of award. The band are all clearly very talented, the guitar work in particular is up there with some of the best speed technical metal bands, but as an album within this genre, it all just feels so generic. Each track just morphs into the next. It feels like you are listening to one very long song. A very long song that sounds like it should be part of a very weird Japanese video game's soundtrack. Except for the final track, Enchanted Forest (Acoustic Version), which is probably the standout highlight. For an acoustic version of a song, featured earlier on the record, to be the highlight on an album from a power metal band, in itself says a lot. Of course the dreamy, epic power is what makes this genre what it is, but it just feels like Hydro's Bright Phoenix is just going to disappear into a plume of total irrelevance both within its genre and the European Metal scene.
Alongside there being no imagination musically, the general sound quality of the recording feels very poor. What few high points exist across the album becomes overshadowed by the poor sound, which is a shame. It just doesn't feel like the album has any balls to it. It's hard to go as far as to say that this should be completely avoided, because avid fans of the genre will probably be able to enjoy some of it, though even they will just end up turning back to the bands Hydro's influences stem from.