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Hydra Lernaia

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In 2005, the Toulouse, France-based experimental dark metal outfit Eryn Non Dae (pronounced "end") lit up the underground with a killer EP called The Never Ending Whirl of Confusion. The swirling, diverse, bruising nature of the music promoted unanimous acclaim from those critics and punters who follow the international metal scene. The critical success of the EP scored them a slot on tours with bands such as Gojira, Hollow Corp, Pelican, High on Fire, and others, and earned them a slot on the Hellfest stage. Subsequent to the buzz it created, the band signed to Metal Blade in 2007 and began to record the release of their debut full-length, Hydra Lernaïa.

Where The Never Ending Whirl of Confusion was complex as well as brutal, full of hidden atmospheric touches amid an in-your-grill vocal approach, Hydra Lernaïa is a giant step past it in terms of musical development, creativity, and originality. First off, no metal record in memory has such a low-end bass approach. Producer/engineer Mobo — a bassist himself — used three tracks to record the basslines on this insane slab. It doesn't pop, it doesn't ring, it just sort of kicks and pummels its way into the listener's brain. But more importantly, it leaves lots of space for guitars and drums to do what they do naturally without intense amounts of compression. Matheiu's vocals are no less up front before, and almost clear — even when you can't make out the individual words — and even when he's just screaming. But it's the composition and playing of the band as a whole that makes it so striking. These tunes are apocalyptic, very dark, and quite aggressive, but they are played with such diversity: each composition is different than the one preceding it, each tune has many different parts, and the dynamics and textural shifts are dazzling. Check the wide-open ring of "Blistering Hate," the set's second cut, where guitars feel more like something Isis would come up with, though they are stretched, staggered, and allowed full droning rein as breaks and blastbeats punctuate alternating time signatures. The propulsive element? You guessed it, Mika's basslines, rumbling, provoking drummer Julien, and providing such an enormous palette of sound for Franck's and Jann's layers of guitars to stick and weave throughout. Other tunes have more conventional riffs in them, but are not anchored to them, as bridges seem to appear from the ether and big spaces open between verses, though everywhere there's that hypnotic, brutal bassline (this is heavier than Jah Wobble's bass with Public Image Ltd). Often the original riff doesn't ever return, as in "Through Dark Skies." Here, vocals range between the feral roar and something resembling the paranoid rantings of Mark Stewart & the Maffia before opening up into something otherworldly and downright scary powerful — think Novembers Doom's vocalist meeting Blut Aus Nord's. The 11-minute closer, "Pure," is one of the most outside, freaky, and challenging things to appear in the genre. Hydra Lernaïa is perhaps the metal record to beat in 2009. It sounds like nothing else out there, and creates a niche all its own. But any real fan of black metal, death metal, or even progressive metal who can stand dissonance will find it a prize.


Genre: Rock

Jahre aktiv: '00s

Eryn Non Dae formed in 2001 in Toulouse, France. Though the group suffered a blow early on by losing its singer, after an exhaustive search a suitable replacement was found, and in 2004 the final lineup of Franck Quintin (guitar/vocals), Yann Servanin (guitar), Mickael Andre (bass), Julien Rufie (drums), and Mathieu Nogues (vocals) was solidified. Eryn Non Dae's sound mingles the heaviness of doom and the spastic fury of metalcore, evoking legends like Coalesce and Converge. In 2005, the band released...
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Hydra Lernaia, Eryn Non Dae.
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