Let's say, for the sake of argument, that a headbanger who knew a lot about metal (past and present) but was unfamiliar with Hibria was exposed to Defying the Rules during a blindfold test. Unable to identify Hibria, the headbanger was still asked to guess what year the CD was recorded -- and understandably, he or she would be likely to respond, "Probably around 1984 or 1985? Sometime in the early to mid-'80s perhaps?" Well, wrong answer, but certainly an understandable guess. Although recorded in 2004, Defying the Rules is an album that, stylistically, could have been recorded at least 20 years earlier. Hibria is part of the power metal revival movement; they recorded their first demo in 1997, but stylistically, these metalheads are a total throwback to the days when Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Queensrÿche, Helloween, and Ronnie James Dio reigned supreme. Their forceful yet consistently melodic work isn't the least bit groundbreaking, but then, a long list of artists in a variety of genres have provided worthwhile, enjoyable albums that weren't big on originality (jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco is a perfect example). The power metal revival movement, one could argue, is metal's equivalent of the Young Lion movement in jazz or the punk revival trend in punk -- it's a movement of headbangers who worship a previous era in their genre and seek to emulate it as closely as possible. And while the power metal revival movement has been dominated by Western Europe, Hibria is from Brazil (the country that gave the world Sepultura). Defying the Rules falls short of remarkable, but it's still a decent, pleasing, and well-executed (if derivative) example of what the power metal revival movement has to offer outside of Europe.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson