A Primal, Feedback-Induced, First-Class Listen
Hailing from Nuremburg, Germany, the sounds expressed on Hyenas’ debut album, Deadweights, can be best described as aggressive, unapologetic and animalistic with small bits of humor injected into the mix. The album comes at a time when a resurgence of metalcore-inspired material is once again being accepted within the metal community, coupled with the injection of a mathcore element. The refreshing part of this fusion of styles is that it perpetuates a rough edge throughout the material; it isn’t polished and has a primitive atmosphere that just simply works.
The album begins slowly with a spoken word intro before transitioning into “Crooked Tongue” where, among grungy guitars and blast beats, the balance between hardcore punk and metalcore is first established as a theme. Through many twists and turns the album pushes on, and, with the average song length hovering around two minutes and thirty seconds, it is very easy for listeners to remain engaged as different ideas are expressed at a blistering pace. Though a no-nonsense approach is apparent in the matter of the music presented in Deadweights, there are also bits of humor stuck in, such as in the transition between “Displaced” and “Live//Live” where there is a small argument in German about whether the band should count off the beginning of the next track by clicking the drumsticks or by counting up from one to four.
As a whole, the album exemplifies what both a good metalcore and hardcore album should be. The band do not try to overcomplicate things by making a record full of songs that drone on to the point where they wear out their welcome, so to speak. For a first full-length release, Hyenas could not possibly have hoped to do any better. The fact that the entire album was recorded in four days only serves to illustrate the mastery over the musical elements this band possesses; and, with the rise of similar bands such as Code Orange, it is only be fair to assume that Hyenas are here to stay.