‘Prophetic’, the debut full-length from Australia’s Eternal Rest, has made a good impression on me, relying a solid balance of sensible songwriting and sheer brutality to make their presence known and felt. After the obligatory minute and a half intro in which two classical guitar delightedly dance to a rather dull melody, the face-melting death blast begins with ‘Preaching the Decimation of Spheres’. Of course, a decidedly amazing drummer is not anything new in the world of death metal, but Michael Hunter’s work on ‘Prophetic’ certainly makes for a solid listen, driving the music ever onward as the the layers of guitars ebb and flow. With majority of the lyrics dealing with one form of apocalypse or another, I was only impressed by the brevity of the words, which allowed for a good sense of mystery and imagination. The sitar is a nice, ambient touch on the title track and the entire album avoids a major pitfall of many death metal bands I have the pleasure of hearing: the tracks don’t all sound the same! The pounding groove of ‘Infernal Reign’ is quite distinguishable from the swirling chaos that is ‘Last Gate’. Give Eternal Rest your ear for a moment and tell me I am wrong!
First, I would like to officially state that I really don’t know what deathcore is. Whatever musical understanding I have of the genre leads me to believe that this band qualifies as just that. Atonal chords ringing out over breakbeat drum battery? Check. Vocalist that can quickly shift between ‘serpent call’ screams, ‘guttural’ death vomits and overly-dramatic, spoken word bits? Check! Tight as fuck power trio that moves seamlessly between gravity blasts, Slayer blasts, and half-time feel death grooves? CHECK!!! On a blog somewhere there is probably an word to describe when a band stops blasting and plays a few clean jazz chords on a piano and then takes off again into a full throttle attack but I don’t know what that word is. Whatever it is, this band does that too. What is I enjoy most about Hybrid’s sophomore effort, ‘Angst’ is that they do all these things well, packing more musical prowess into a few bars of 7/8 time than most bands do in their entire discography. ‘Collapse to None’ rips off the listener’s face with such precision, that it does so almost in mockery, a vulgar display of power, if you will. Album closer ‘Doomed to Failure’ is an easy favorite for me and not just because of the suffocating atmosphere it provides. What I enjoy about this track is that the idea is easy to follow from start to finish, keeping my attention for the entire duration. While I hear some really amazing riffs and passages on this release, I would rather a song not ‘change channels’ on me 138 times in a mere three minutes. Above all, Spain’s Hybrid presents ‘Angst’ without any of the fashion trend imagery that is commonly associated with newer, progressive death metal, and offer a deeper meaning and philosophy for their art that listeners will certainly appreciate.