(TheMadIsraeli has some thoughts to share about the debut EP by the UK’s Hacktivist, which will be out on Nov 12 and is up on iTunes for pre-order now.)
Alright sons, it’s time for some real talk here. If you don’t like this band, at least be able to give me an academically informed reason as to why their music sucks, because if all you have to say is “it has rap in it not kvlt,” I really don’t have an interest in hearing it.
Hacktivist are bringing something new and interesting to the table by combining two things that, quite frankly, were always begging to be combined: rap and djent. We’ve had a shitton of discourse in the metal sphere about whether or not djent is just the more legit, more intelligent form of nu metal, and I think Hacktivist’s self titled EP is the closing case on the matter. It’s here where we see the two styles melded together so well that it’s amazing it wasn’t done sooner.
I’ve always had the confidence that rap and metal COULD work together. Rage Against The Machine is a dear favorite band of mine, and while nu metal mostly sucked, I did enjoy the angst and energy a lot of it had. Hacktivist take these elements and combine them with modern groove metal into a package that I think works, and works superbly well.
The odd thing is, I really don’t know how much more of a review I can write about this. It’s rap djent, and the divide on whether it’s good or not is pretty obvious. I figure there is only one answer about whether this band deserves your time and money, and that is if you dig what they are doing. I do. I think they do it exceptionally well. I think Timfy James and Co. know how to write some beastly ass grooves while J Hurley and Ben Marvin (regardless of how you feel about their lyrics) have an intensity that you can feed off of in their delivery. These are quite capable musicians, and I find the prospect exciting of what they will do as they go on.
I mean, I suppose some people just can’t appreciate new and interesting shit. I’m a man whose favorite albums are things like Pestilence’s Testimony of the Ancients, and yet I dig the fuck out of this band. I don’t see how anyone can deny the booming low-tuned droning riffs, the fast-paced vocal attack, or the downright infectious grooves going on here (as in the song “Hacktivist”) — though some obviously do, based on the commentary our past Hacktivist posts have provoked.
My personal favorite track on this album, “Blades”, I think is a good example of this band’s talent, combining their rap djent stylings with doom metal in a way that’s fascinating. I think Hacktivist are the future for djent, and I foresee boring copycats by the hundreds coming in the near-term. But these dudes are not boring — they’re onto something.
With all that said, maybe I could produce a more elaborate review of this fucker now, but I don’t think I’m going to. I’m just going to let the music speak for itself, and you’ll either get into it or not. I have: This band have my backing and endorsement 100%.