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The Hyena Kill – A Disconnect Award winner

The Hyena Kill
A Disconnect
by Mike McMahan at 26 February 2021, 4:19 PM

I was sadly unfamiliar with THE HYENA KILL, a four-piece band out of Manchester, England, when I began the review process for their second album “A Disconnect”. I have been trying to be more proactive in searching out newer artists, these days; but his one got past me somehow. A joy of writing for Metal Temple has been having the ability to find the newer material…that joy can also become a curse from time to time. I’m happy to report that in this case, I was extremely fortunate to find this band.

THE HYENA KILL is fronted by Steven Dobb, who also serves as the principal lyricist. Guitarist Sam Jones, drummer Lorna Blundell and bassist Charlie Seisay expertly flesh out the lineup. Their material is heavy, more in the lyrical presentation than overall sound, very dark and heady. It is also quite beautiful. Dobb’s vocals have a quiet intensity to them that fuel the emotional fire this release builds within its listener, while the music paints the landscape in which they live. Dobb has stated, courtesy of their webpage, that “The bulk of the material was written during a very low point in my life, and as a result this album fell into place with a sense of claustrophobia and finality…”. That is a very apt description of the ten songs here.

The album opens with a short, foreboding instrumental piece called “Septic”, which soon gives way to the thundering introduction of “Passive Disconnect”. This song is full of great musical turns, from the somewhat syncopated verses into a more driving chorus. Dobb and Jones use their guitars as a tandem, layering textures and riffs throughout; and Blundell’s expressive percussion is solidly pounding. The lyrics here, at times (and I believe, by design), are indecipherable, and the vocal work acts as a texture of its own, leaving me with more of an emotional response to the overall feel of the song than making a direct statement to the listener. There is certainly, and thankfully, nothing spoon-fed about it.

The two tracks that have been pre-released, “Cauterised” and “Bleached”, are as different as night and day. While “Cauterised” possesses a more slow and purposeful presentation; “Bleached” hammers through its two minute and seventeen seconds with a distinct urgency, never letting up. There is almost an early Hardcore Punk feel that runs through this song. By contrast, “Glass Scene” is hauntingly beautiful.

This is not an album you throw on for a Friday night to feel better about the weekend, and not one you want playing at a party. The songs here took me on a journey I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a part of, and to places I have visited all too often…particularly over the last year. When a band can muster this response from me through their art, they have indeed made an incredible impact.

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


 

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.Septic
2.Passive Disconnect
3.Cauterised
4.Witness
5.Close Enough
6.Thin
7.Bleached
8.Glass Scene
9.Incision
10.Mire
Lineup:
Steven Dobb – Guitar, Vocals
Sam Jones – Guitar, Synthesizer
Lorna Blundell – Drums
Charlie Seisay – Bass
Record Label: APF Records
     


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Edited 19 September 2021
 

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