'Deadly Passions' is the second studio album from the Kentucky based rock band that is Hydrogyn. The band was formed in 2003 and as well as having released two studio albums the band has released a live album also. The band is fronted by Julie Westlake and it's therefore her vocal tone which hits you throughout this album; she has a great voice and puts an awful lot of power behind it in order to belt out the ten tracks of this album. The guitar riffs also possess great strength and although not hugely exciting; the instrumental side of things is still quite pleasant to listen to here.
The album gets off to an explosive beginning with opening number 'Rejection', the track possesses a fast tempo and really kicks the album off with great power. Hyrogyn here storms through the track and executes it absolutely excellently. The vocals are brilliant and the guitar work also is really quite interesting to listen to. Although the guitar riffs are decent enough here however; throughout much of the album the band does seem to lack instrumental power a little and instrumentally the music therefore becomes quite tiresome quickly. The tracks are pleasant enough to listen to, there's often a lack of energy and excitement in the instrumental sector however and the tracks have a tendency to all merge together as one. Julie Westlake is a hugely talented vocalist but the rest of the band perhaps lacks the instrumental talent to provide her with an impressive enough instrumental backdrop.
With tracks such as 'Seroquil', 'Shadow', and 'On And On'; Julie Westlake shows herself to be a truly exceptional front woman; she has a great voice and always here her voice is absolutely excellent to listen to. 'Seroquil' for instance has an absolutely beautiful verse whilst 'On And On' on the other hand has a hugely hard hitting chorus. Westlake's vocal range is absolutely magnificent and throughout this album it is her vocal influence which makes the music so impressive to listen to. Julie Westlake is without doubt one of the most talented female vocalists I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. If only the rest of the band had the instrumental talent to really do her voice justice then Hydrogyn would be an absolutely unstoppable furious force of a rock band.
Jeff Westlake is the bands guitarist, at times he pipes up with an impressive guitar solo; for the most part however his guitar work is fairly unexciting and really does hold back the overall quality of the album. The drumbeats are equally unexciting on the whole and the main failing of Hydrogyn is most definitely in its instrumental section. Near enough title track 'Deadly Passion' contains some super guitar work so it's not as though the band can't produce the goods when it wants to, for the most part the instrumental side of things is just nothing special though and given the excellence of Julie Westlake's voice; she really deserves a lot more.
Were this album a little more instrumentally energetic and exciting then 'Deadly Passions' would be a far more enjoyable album to listen to. This is not a bad album; the vocals are absolutely amazing for instance, the instrumental side of things is definitely a little disappointing however and a little more innovation in the guitar playing department certainly wouldn't go amiss. With the right songs Hydrogyn could easily be a successful commercial rock band; Julie Westlake has a great passionate and powerful voice, and it's also really clean and approachable in its sound. I'd love to hear the band show a little more with its next album; all that is required here is a few instrumental tweaks and changes and the music would be far harder hitting and exciting to listen to. Hydrogyn is a decent enough band and the lead vocals are exceptional; instrumentally the music lacks edge though and this is most definitely something that is holding the band back a little at current.
If you're a fan of female vocals then 'Deadly Passions' could be a decent album to listen to; for vocal ability you won't find much better than Julie Westlake and for fans of vocalists such as Hayley Williams, Amy Lee, and Sharon Den Adel then her voice should most definitely be of great appeal. Instrumentally the album is always held back a bit, vocally there is no stopping Julie Westlake here however and 'Deadly Passions' is probably worth listening to just to hear how amazing her voice truly is. Give this album a go and see what you think, the vocal melodies are simply stunning and I'm sure you'll be incredibly impressed with the range and passion that has here been achieved by Julie Westlake.
Label: DR2 Records
Release Date: June 23rd 2008
Originally posted by me on my website Alt-UK.com