I’m writing this review and the review for Eric Wagner’s In The Lonely Light Of Mourning at the same time. While Wagner‘s album is like a serious, indie black and white Academy Award contender, Hail To The Heroes is a huge, loud, and fun as hell Marvel movie. Girish and the Chronicles deliver a hard rock masterpiece with Hail To The Heroes. If you’ve been waiting on them, now’s the time to get on board with the volume up to 11.
Hail To The Heroes is the first album from GATC on Frontiers and my biggest concern was that they’d clean their sound up too much. 2020’s Rock the Highway was my top album of the year, and a big part of that was due to the non-glossy production. It’s a pure rock and roll album. While Hail To The Heroes features a somewhat slicker production I had nothing to worry about. That love of metal is still at the core.
Who is GATC?
A tight band like this deserves a bit of an introduction. GATC are based out of Bengaluru in Karnataka, India. These guys are steeped in rock and roll, not just the sound, but the look, the feel, and the attitude. They have one foot in the sunset strip and the other in hard and heavy rock and roll.
On vocals, Girish Pradhan shows amazing range from epic screams, to guttural growls, to more melodic singing. He’s a fantastic frontman, and if you take a quick trip down YouTube rabbit holes, you’ll see him crush metal masterpieces.
Yogesh Pradhan not only played bass but also plays the keyboards and handled the majority of the production. He deserves big props for the overall sound on Hail To The Heroes.
What’s a killer metal band without an equally amazing guitar player? Suraz Sun‘s riffs and solos take this band to the next level. He turns what could’ve been a standard-issue ballad like “Shamans of Time” into a shredder.
Nagen Nags absolutely brutalizes the drum kit. His beat is enormous, and just what an album like Hail To The Heroes calls for.
A Dozen Driving Tracks
The previous album included thirteen tracks, and I felt like a few were filler. Hail To The Heroes features an even dozen, and I couldn’t find a filler track among them. The singles have all been fantastic from the album banging opener “Primeval Desire” to the latest release, “Love’s Damnation.” Each one a feast for anyone into rock and metal.
One track not already released as a single stood out to me. “Rock and Roll Jack” is vintage GATC. It’s got a nice dose of AC/DC, with a heavy presence from Yogesh‘s bass. If you feel like dipping your toes in the band, pull this one up.
The last track on the album, “Rock n’ Roll Fever” plastered a huge smile on my face. During the pandemic, Girish worked on a side project called Firstborne with Chris Adler (Lamb of God) on drums, Myrone on guitars, and James LoMenzo (Megadeth, Black Label Society, White Lion) on bass. They made some badass metal together. The guys from Firstborne (minus LoMenzo, plus Rowan Robertson) joined up with GATC on “Rock n’ Roll Fever” and it’s a monstrous album closer. The magic mix of Myrone‘s, Robertson‘s, and Sun‘s guitar work absolutely shreds. What a treat!
To me, Girish & The Chronicles are the best hard rock band on the planet right now. They are at their peak, embracing the sound and power of the golden age of 80s metal, evolving it into a metal monster. It’s the kind of album that’ll take over your listening for weeks on end. I grew up in the days of the cassette, and it’d be a long time before this ever got ejected.
If you’re seeking modern metal equal parts AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Metallica, and the cacophony of the streets of Bengaluru, this album is for you. And if you’re not seeking that, what the hell is wrong with you?
1. Primeval Desire
2. Children Of The Night
3. I’m Not The Devil
4. Love’s Damnation
5. Clearing The Blur
6. Lovers’ Train
7. Rock And Roll Jack
8. Hail To The Heroes (intro)
9. Hail To The Heroes
10. Shamans Of Time
11. Heaven’s Crying
12. Rock N’ Roll Fever ft. Chris Adler, Myrone, Rowan Robertson
Also, find more of my CGCM reviews here: Dave Wilks[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TxpsLMrYww[/embedyt] [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPEPWampuLk[/embedyt]