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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sadist (It) - Hyaena

Artist: Sadist (It)
Release Title: Hyaena
Year: 2015
Label: Scarlet Records
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
1. The Lonely Mountain
2. Pachycrocuta
3. Bouki
4. The Devil Riding the Evil Steed
5. Scavenger and Thief
6. Gadawan Kura
7. Eternal Enemies
8. African Devourers
9. Scratching Rocks
10. Genital Mask

The seventh full-length effort from Italian progressive death metallers Sadist continues the bands’ strength of strong, innovative music within the death metal realm. As is the usually the case within their work, the majority of the work here comes from the dynamic and bubbling bass-lines present here, offering a scattering of light, churning rhythms with plenty of complex and utterly challenging arrangements that add a discordant, jazz-like style to the tracks here with their all-over-the-place vibe that does such a spectacular job of playing to the progressive end of the material. Going alongside this technical basswork is the strong, near-avantgarde riff-work that brings along plenty of twisting, challenging riffs that give this one a rather prominent attitude that straddles the two genres by being progressive enough building through avant-garde riffing and patterns. Though this gives the album a strong edge here with all these unique, challenging patterns, it also means that way too much of the film is content to rest on the fence of being just too weird and discordant to really give the fans of traditional death metal much to rest on. There’s plenty of challenging riff-work and complex patterns that often-times comes off with amazing dexterity, but the hollow-ness of the production renders a lot of it with a light, airy feel that’s completely the opposite of the weighty, beefy style of more traditional death metal variants in general but more impactly makes the material seem bland and lifeless as it runs through it’s paces. There’s little thump to the music here, and it’s built to have that here which can wear thin as this goes along. Still, it’s all that really holds this back.

The first half here gives this a solid view of what to expect. Opener ‘The Lonely Mountain’ features a stilted intro before turning into a thumping up-tempo gallop with charging rhythms and dynamic riff-work offering plenty of atmospheric notes alongside the off-kilter arrangements bringing the tight riffing and pounding drumming along through the final half for a strong opener here. ‘Pachycrocuta’ blasts through a series of swirling riffing and thumping drum-work with plenty of stuttering rhythms alongside the complex rhythms leading into the pounding drumming and blaring bass-lines of the solo section keeping the discordant patterns and twisting arrangements along throughout the finale for another enjoyable effort. ‘Bouki’ takes squealing synthesizers and stuttering, start/stop patterns with plenty of blistering rhythms with the discordant, angular patterns twisting through the synthesizers with the rumbling bass-lines making for a swirling series of up-tempo patterns along the charging drumming through the final half for a strong overall highlight. ‘The Devil Riding the Evil Steed’ uses sinister trinkling keyboards eventually leading into the churning riff-work and dynamic drumming against the blaring, bursting bass-lines full of challenging, complex rhythms slowing down for plodding, sluggish solo section and carrying through to the finale for a somewhat enjoyable effort. ‘Scavenger and Thief’ features an assortment of animal noises into an up-tempo series of swirling riffing, ethereal keyboards and stuttering drum-work that drops off for the churning mid-tempo rhythms that continue on through the mid-tempo solo section and churning along into the final half for another enjoyable effort.

The second half plays off as an enjoyable if slightly lesser variation of the first half. Instrumental ‘Gadawan Kura’ offers lush acoustic guitars and plenty of blaring bass-lines as light, plodding tempos weave through the dreamy, melancholic paces before getting up to churning mid-tempo rhythms in the finale that offers a suitable mid-album breather. ‘Eternal Enemies’ uses tight, churning and twisting rhythms swirling through rather up-tempo paces full of dynamic patterns that nicely drop off into a minor atmospheric interlude before turning back into the mid-tempo mixture of swirling patterns and churning rhythms throughout the final half for another strong highlight. ‘African Devourers’ features spacey keyboards over blaring bass-lines and dexterous drumming charging along with the change-over into more technical patterns keeping the buzzing bass-lines in check through the series of churning riffing through the finale for a decent enough track. ‘Scratching Rocks’ features screeching keyboards that turn into a series of discordant riffing with dexterous drumming taking the screeching riff-work with churning rhythmic riffing twisting along through the discordant patterns in the final half for a mostly disappointing and uneven track. Lastly, ‘Genital Mask’ brings in tribal drumming that turns into swirling buzzing bass-lines and stuttering riff-work bringing along plenty of discordant rhythms weaving throughout the extended instrumental buzzing bass-lines with plenty of ethereal rhythms flowing into the finale for another enjoyable effort that ends this on a nice note.

While it does lack a discernable thump that holds it back and might appear too avant-garde for more traditionalists who aren’t that into this kind of technicality and progressive edges, there’s more than enough general talent and wholly enjoyable moments that fans of more adventurous music won’t find a lot to really enjoy here.

Score: 88/100

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