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Hyvmine - Fight or Flight Award winner

Fight or Flight
by Martin "Doomed D at 31 July 2018, 11:14 PM

The Los Angeles guys are back with another album to offer. Their previous album "Earthquake" was quite good for me, but it lacked spirit a little, maybe too formatted. They were quite good and all, but it didn't catch my interest the way it should have. Now they are back, and this new EP is badass! They changed their approach to a more Progressive sound and with versatile writing. I never meant the last opus was bad but this one eclipses "Earthquake" away. At first, I wasn't sure what to think, and I wanted to immerse myself without preconceived judgement. First of all they changed their song durations. "Earthquake" had songs in a kind of standard format (about 4-5 minutes long) for a total of about 45 minutes. Here we have three songs only, instead of nine. But the three songs are 30 minutes of music that's pretty much better and more moving. The songs are more inspired the variations are interesting. They show us a multitude of the band's talents, without falling in the "too much isn't enough" trap.

Al Joseph has an incredible voice, and he uses it in every situation very professionally. His singing is flawless, and he seems comfortable in every moments of the songs. His voice is naturally warm and appealing as we can hear in their video of "Epicoustic" and he can sings more powerfully when its necessary. Chris Joseph plays nice bass lines throughout the album, while Alon Mei-tal fits pretty well as the other guitarist (I won't say second while they stir up some major guitar work together) and they are backed with Fabrizio Cavallaro on drums. "Coup de grace" kicks out and starts with some synth and electronic noises to set up the ambiance a little. I'm not a fan of this kind of elements normally, but here it's fine because it's used lightly. We've got pulsing beats, and creative expressive vocals filled with great energy deployment. There's a little kind of metallic sound that keeps "ringing" and it got my attention. This sound will be used later as a reminder, like we're used to hearing in Progressive Rock or Progressive Metal. It's quite a nice starter.

"The Epicoustic" shows a more smooth and warm approach as Mr. Joseph uses great clean singing in a very impressive and interesting way. Then the percussion explodes and we are propulsed to some more powerful Rock, while Joseph sings more energetically and shows us how well he can sing. After a few minutes of great riffs and cool variations, all calms down to lead us to some darker areas, and we can hear pulsations and sounds to get in a more atmospheric related moments, like in a story wanting to tell us of the new developments to help us locate ourselves in the story. Then we are offered a pretty neat guitar solo, and Al Joseph gets more in a higher pitch range to get us to the end of the song with struggling fuzzy guitars. "FeatherBed" is the last song, regretfully. I would say that this track is a duality: soft moments, more relaxed playing, clean singing, while it gets at times cranked with cool solo to shift to more aggressive moments. All is well balanced, well written, and well done.

I got caught in this maelstrom of pure creative talented expressions through this 30 minute EP. HYVMINE didn't have to remind me that they're great musicians, as I already knew that. But, they showed me they can evolve pretty fast, into another entity but while keeping their identity and developing such great response. I'm not afraid of what's next, this could just be more…and more… fascinating! Fans of Progressive Metal will relish their great moments, while the easy listening quality of the music is not overwhelmed by too much creativity or complexity. It's a great compromise!

Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Coup de grace
2. Feather Bed
3. Epicoustic
Al Joseph - Lead Vocals and Guitar
Chris Joseph - Bass
Alon Mei-tal - Guitar
Record Label: Seek and Strike Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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