By Dr. Abner Mality

If there was any remaining doubt that India is an up and coming hotbed of hard rock and heavy metal, “Hail to the Heroes” annihilates it like a nuclear warhead. GIRISH AND THE CHRONICLES have come up with a brilliant example of late 80’s hard rock/commercial metal that completely floored me. This is authentic as it gets. When listening to this, I was constantly reminded of the first BADLANDS album and SKID ROW’s “Slave to the Grind”.

Yes, it’s that good. Lead singer Girish Pradhan has the best voice for this kind of music since the late great Ray Gillen. That’s as high a praise as a singer can get from me. Girish injects every ounce of heart and soul into his vocals here, from the rawness of “Primeval Desire” to the emotion-drenched clarity of the epic title track and “The Heaven’s Crying”. This man was born to sing for a band like this. And then we have the explosive lead guitar of Suraj Tikhatri, who wails away like he just came off the Sunset Strip...Steve Vai, George Lynch, Bruce Kulick, he’s up there with any of them.

The record hits with maximum crunch and fire with “Primeval Desire”, continues to scorch with the fast paced “Children of the Night” and hits its peak with “I’m Not The Devil”, which is a monster track. The SKID ROW “Slave to the Grind” comparisons are obvious here...GIRISH AND THE CHRONICLES sit very comfortably at the intersection where hard rock and heavy metal meet. Things get a bit more commercial (but still heavy) with “Love’s Damnation” and “Clearing the Blur”, both of which could have been big hits back in the day. The band really reaches another level with the epic title track where Girish and Sunaj outdo themselves. “Shamans of Time” could have easily been off the first BADLANDS album and even the ballad “The Heaven’s Crying” is so perfectly executed that I can’t complain. It all ends with the boogie metal of “Rock N’ Roll Fever”, where one time LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler and guitar ace Rowan Robertson join in on the action.

This album is a knockout, but it’s also tragic because it is released in a time where there is no support for this kind of music anymore. And I have to say, GIRISH AND THE CHRONICLES is not a very good or commercial name for a band. But when it comes to the music itself, this is a virtually flawless example of 80’s commercial heavy metal delivered with heart and passion.