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Hryre - From Mortality To Infinity

Hryre
From Mortality To Infinity
by H.P. Buttcraft at 20 November 2016, 9:36 PM

Whenever I hear the word "Yorkshire", I am sad to say that the first thing I think of are those tiny little, long-haired dogs. But if you want to picture that tiny little animal in your mind as you read this and imagine some Pagan Black Metal music surrounding it, you would probably be best to choose the music of Yorkshire, England’s HRYRE.

HRYRE is a brand new band that premieres with this record "From Mortality To Infinity". HRYRE (which I believe is pronounced "huh-ri-er") is strongly influenced from their own rich historical ancestry that distinctly defines their region of England. Yorkshire is known for having a long history with Germanic Tribes and Viking culture, which is ripe for musicians to use as inspiration for Black Metal.

But there is certain characteristic to this style of Black Metal that I think directly relates to the source of where the men in HRYRE come from. In the music world, Yorkshire is best known for musicians like David Bowie and huge contributions to the history of Rock music like SISTERS OF MERCY, ABC and THE CULT (author’s note: the biggest Metal band to come from the area is DEF LEPPARD, believe it or not). Yet when HRYRE attempts to tap into the ancient atmosphere of the area, I feel like it would’ve served the band better to draw inspiration from the other great musicians that have populated that part of the United Kingdom before them. Aren’t they just as much a part of Yorkshire’s history? I suppose its not interesting enough as the ancient history of that part of England.

From my perspective, HRYRE’s greatest sin is also their biggest value to them. This sin I mention is the numerous similarities to the music of Norwegian Black Metal-turned-Progressive band ENSLAVED. You can hear it a lot in the vocals; Both the scream, barks and clean singing/spoken word alike remind me of multiple aspects of ENSLAVED’s entire quarter century-long career in recorded music. Not to mention the style of the guiar playing is reminiscent of the era where ENSLAVED came out with their records "Vikingligr Veldi" and "Frost". Last but not least, even the thematic elements of HRYRE’s album title and lyrical content echo the perplexing and existential writings of you-know-who. Despite this weakness, being compared and contrasted to a band like ENSLAVED is far from a bad thing. In fact, there are a lot of bands you could be compared to that would be nowhere near as good and consistently reinventive of a band like ENSLAVED is.

If you already know and love ENSLAVED, you are more than likely going to enjoy "From Mortality To Infinity". I would heed that HRYRE are not as nuanced as their predescessors, in the sense that their music is a lot more simple. Songs like "Regressed State Of Malice" and "Devastation Of Empires" are offerings from the band that do not delve into their more romantic side while songs like "Plagues On Ancient Graves" and the lengthy "Cast Into Shade Part Two (Black Sun)" showcase how much effort the band tries to push their music into a Progressive direction. Although on their track "Cast Into Shade Part One (Farewell)", the band creates a nice melody using acoustic instruments, a variety of folk performers and female vocals. After the second minute begins to end on here, and the melodic progression refrains from changing keys or anything else, for that matter, this becomes a very boring and pretentious mess that I would not bother to listen to again.

Although this band has some issues it needs to further work on improving, not all is lost with this record. I found good portions of this record enjoyable. I think that frontman Rick Millington has a voice that perfectly fits this subgenre. He has a great commanding tone to his voice whenever he is speaking that I think has a lot of potential for further compositions. I really like the overall atmospheric quality of every song too. I can honestly say that I look forward to HRYRE’s follow up to "From Mortality To Infinity".

Songwriting: 7
Originiality: 4
Memorability: 7
Production: 9


3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Inauguration
  2. Devastation Of Empires
  3. Plagues On Ancient Graves
  4. Alive Beneath The Surface
  5. Cast Into Shade Part One (Farewell)
  6. Cast Into Shade Part Two (Black Sun)
  7. Lamenting The Coming Dread
  8. Regressed State Of Malice
  9. Return To The Earth
Lineup:
Rick Millington – Vocals, Guitar & Bass
Nathan Patchett – Guitar, Bass
Gareth Hodgson – Drums
Michael Lenkarn – keyboards (guest)
Record Label: Independent
     


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