Aug 122014


(DGR has been on a review-writing tear — we’ll have something from him every day this week. Today he assesses the new release by Poland’s Hyperial.)

There are some bands out there where within the first thirty seconds of a disc, you get to know exactly what you’re in for. In the latest offering from Poland’s Hyperial, Blood And Dust, which hit in mid-July, the first thirty seconds of the song “The Plague Of The Used Masses” is a frighteningly fast and precise drum-fill-into-blast-beat combo alongside a poweful roar that moves right into a synth-backed, chugging riff. It’s a song of hybrid genres — of blackened death metal, the devastatingly precise drumming and syncopated guitar riffs of industrial death metal, the heavy groove sense of deathcore, and the huge orchestral swells that lend themselves well to symphonic death. It’s a tried and true combo, and in the case of Blood And Dust, one that sounds like the soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic wasteland after a robot uprising.

The band appear to have packed as much as they can within the confines of four- to five-minute songs, with sounds that can be included on a CD that weighs its usual couple of ounces, but that can feel as dense as a brick of lead. Blood And Dust is one of those albums in which you can hear where everything was pulled from, and you can even think of one or two bands who are also doing something similar, but its the kind of music that still has life — it still hasn’t grown tired, it’s still as delicious as it was from the first bite. Continue reading »

Jun 202014

In this round-up I’ve collected a few new songs and videos I noticed over the last 24 hours from a variety of metal sub-genres. I really like all of ’em. Hope you will, too.


This Danish black metal band have recorded their fifth album, and the first since 2010’s Necro Spirituals. The new one is named World of Tombs and it’s projected for release waaaay down the road on September 1, 2014, by the band’s new label, Scarlet Records. Yesterday brought a stream of one of the new tracks, “Diabolical Engines of Torment”, and it kills.

It kills in two ways — with electrifying thrash riffs and punk rhythms (which will grab you by the neck right from the first second), and with a down-paced pounding so irresistible that heads cannot help but bang. The vocalist alternately sprays acid and roars like a death metal beast, and the production makes the music sound especially powerful (and clear). Continue reading »

Sep 102012

There is a certain style of death metal that I think of as “imperial”, and sometimes as “infernally imperial” to account for the demonic shadows that often fall across the music. Those words come to mind, for example, when I think of Poland’s now best-known metal export, Behemoth. Obviously, I’m not using the term to convey a sense of glittering ostentatiousness, but instead as a means of capturing an atmosphere of dark might and majesty.

Hyperial is a four-man, one-woman band who have just released a six-song EP entitled Industry that incorporates that kind of blackened majesty into their music, but also use keyboards and ethereal guitar solos in a way that adds a sense of futuristic atmosphere to the brutish pummeling of the riffs and drums.

With the exception of a brief synthesizer instrumental that creates a moody ambience (“MMXII-MMXXX”), the songs are fast, with jabbing, choppy riffs and slightly off-kilter rhythms, anchored by a huge, groaning bass presence and percussion that frequently erupts in explosions of blasting. The songs are packed with massive (and even bombastic) grooves and the near-constant presence of moaning (and sometimes squealing) guitar chords that conjure up not only images of Behemoth but also Gojira (especially on the title track).

The vocals add to that ominous sense of rampant bestiality, with low-end roaring that sounds like a cross between a barking wolf and an enraged bear, though the vocals also include a trade-off with high-end shrieking that avoids any risk of monotony. Continue reading »