[15th May 2013]
[Deep Send Records]
01. Flesh Fusion Threshold
02. Enter The Void
03. Collapse To None
05. Cuando El Destino Nos Alcance
06. Angst-Ridden Inertia
07. Doomed To Failure
Hybrid are a technical death metal/grind/avant-garde band based in Madrid, Spain. Originally formed by Chus Maestro and featuring members of Wormed, they have since gone through many lineup changes, and have just recently released their second full length album titled Angst.
It is pretty hard to pin down this album on first listen. It is generally quite intense and twisting, throwing riff after riff after angular grinding riff at the listener. At some points though, the album settles into a really nice jazzier groove, complete with clean chords, rather than the heavy distortion used in other parts. There is a decent amount of sonic variance used, it isn’t all either avant-jazz-grind or “random clean jazz section”. The band does showcase the ability to simplify things a bit with a heavier groovy breakdown section thrown around here and there.
One thing about this kind of music is that it often is easy to get stuck in the mindset of wanting to get more complex for the sake of being more complex rather than focusing on writing good songs and keeping things interesting for those who might end up listening to this. Hybrid occasionally seem to go a little too far in that direction, especially in the drumming department. The man is clearly enormously talented, and he uses it all, but perhaps could benefit from simplifying his playing in a spot or two.
For the most part, Angst is a very aggressive and chaotic album. There are some points where it is less so, for example the songs “Collapse To None” and “Cuando El Destino Alcane” make use of a saxophone, and some rather excellent intertwining of sounds. Then there is “Self-Implosion” which sounds very much like Gojira, with less restraint. The intro into “Angst Ridden Inertia” is a very dark, brooding, echo-y piece that really shows that Hybrid isn’t all blasting grinding fun.
One major weakness on the album is the vocals. The growls are decent but nothing too special and the clean vocals are really not very good. They aren’t used too often, but when they are – one example being on a painful breakdown in “Self-Implosion” – it is really distracting.
It is also a very quick album; it doesn’t drag at all, having only seven songs, most of which fall within the four to five minute length. This is a good thing, as this kind of sound could get really tough and tiring to listen to if it were to go on for too long. The shortness of the release really works in the band’s favour.
Angst is a solid record, filled with some really good ideas, and some not so good ones. The clean vocals are one really weak piece of the puzzle, though they aren’t used that often. Occasionally it feels as if song-writing was sacrificed in the name of being more avant-garde, but there are other moments where the band really lets the music breathe. It almost feels like the band could have done even more with their music, but at the same time the album also does seem really full, as if adding anymore would be a bad idea. It isn’t for everyone, but some people might find enjoyment in it.
Best tracks: “Collapse To None”, “Angst Ridden Inertia” and “Cuando El Destino Alcance”.