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Cyhra – No Halos in Hell Award winner

Cyhra
No Halos in Hell
by Will Travers at 05 January 2020, 9:42 PM

Swedish super group CYHRA are back. Having burst into our eardrums back in 2017, the group of Heavy Metal veterans have refined their sound. CYHRA have achieved something new, a sort of music that, I feel, breaks the confines of different Metal styles and are pioneering a new style altogether.

As always, I like to start with the physical aspects of the album, and this normally encompasses the artwork on the cover. Gustavo Sazes is not unfamiliar with Heavy Metal or indeed with CYHRA, in fact he did the album artwork for their debut album “Letters to Myself” as well as creating artwork for various other bands, including EPICA, MACHINE HEAD, and nonetheless AMARANTHE. The art work for “No Halos in Hell” is very bold and in your face. If you were to walk past this album on a store shelf you would not be able to help yourself but be drawn to it. So, Gustavo for that, I salute you.

Now onto the music, “Letters to Myself” was a solid debut album in its own right. It demonstrated the influences of members past attachments. This can also be said about “No Halos in Hell’. In fact, it opens with an incredibly strong track in the form of “Out of My Life”. With a steady, pounding beat, great guitar tracks and a catchy vocal melody this is a perfect example of an opening track. However, I could not help but notice the very strong similarities in the structure of the song when compared to similar pieces from Jake E’s previous band AMARANTHE.

Next, I want to bring your attention to a specific song. “Battle From Within” is a very poignant song, especially the circumstance surrounding it. The lyrics to this track seem, to me, to be aimed at the feelings felt by those left behind after an individual chooses to take their own life. This again is a matter very close to the band, as the vocal track, and indeed quite possibly the entire song, was conceived by Jake E sitting at a piano and ‘singing gibberish’, however that ‘gibberish’ would appear to be his subconscious dealing with the untimely death of his brother. The track attempts to tackle a huge array of emotions felt by people all over the world surrounding a very delicate issue. I think that they portray the myriad of feelings and emotions felt by these people beautifully. This has to be my pick of the album.

The album flows through a few more songs until you are greeted by the grand intro to “Dreams Gone Wrong”. Now again the structure to the track is solid, however I want to give a special mention to Euge Valovirta and Jesper Strömblad for putting meat on the bones to this wonderful song. Jesper expertly negotiates us through the tracks journey whilst Euge accents the vocals with delightful licks towards the beginning and end.

“Blood Brothers” Instantly caught my eye… Or should I say ear?! The intro is very medievalesque, it instantly stands out when compared to all the others. The verse builds and builds with its layers during its length and hits a chorus that could turn into an anthem for the album. Overall this has to be one of my favorite tracks of the album due its different approach and breakup of the contrasting sections. Also, a special mention goes out to Alex Landenburg for his sublime drum line through the song.

So, I must say that CYHRA have utilized their time between albums incredibly well to build their own unique sound, whilst still each tipping a hat to where they came from. I would like to reiterate here that CYHRA have one hundred percent got their own unique sound, in fact, if you have any friends out there you want to try and convert to Heavy Metal…. These guys are a good way to ease people in, showcasing that it’s not all death and despair.

To summarize and finish it was quite simply an exquisite example of an album that I’m sure will see some of the songs become a staple add on into my future playlists. I look forward to trying to catch these guys when they tour, as each song on this album is a party track, full of energy, intensity and personality to fill any venue.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship:8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Out of My Life
2. No Halos in Hell
3. Battle From Within
4. I Am The One
5. Bye Bye Forever
6. Dreams Gone Wrong
7. Lost in Time
8. Kings Tonight
9. I Had Your Back
10. Blood Brothers
11. Hit Me
12. Man of Eternal Rain
Lineup:
Jake E ­– Lead Vocals
Euge Valovirta – Lead Guitar
Jesper Strömblad – Rhythm Guitar
Alex Landenburg – Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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