Deville
Hydra


4.5
superb

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
January 26th, 2013 | 70 replies | 10,019 views


Release Date: 03/26/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Constantly oscillating between rampant and infectious, Hydra is a resounding triumph for Swedish heavy rock.

Swedish heavy rock bands have always been inclined to deliver amazing 1970s-inspired music. On their third album, Malmö-based Deville are at the top of their game following the footsteps of such acclaimed outfits as Dozer, Lowrider and Truckfighters. Even though their prime influences are rather apparent, Deville opt for modern production that accentuates their fuzzy guitar tone placing their style in a distinctly contemporary context. The foursome ventures into heavy metal, alternative rock and even pop making all these arbitrary influences integral ingredients of their style. That's why, Hydra sounds more like an extension to the booming stoner rock scene than a relic of the past, embracing various directions that the quartet's peers usually steer clear of.

The slick production is also there to expand on the outfit's consistent songcraft. Deville have taken their sweet time to figure out which tracks work best during their numerous concerts and thus the process of putting the album together lasted two long years. This approach has resulted in a diverse repertoire that ranges from sturdy, hook-laden rockers to more progressive, sludgy bruisers. “Lava” sets the tone for the entire disc blending driving riffs with an unpretentious hook, while “In Vain” drifts into an alternative territory with its reassuring chorus and smooth transitions. Elsewhere, “The Knife” is notable for its bouncy, heavy-on-fuzz passages culminating in a deranged drum solo. Helmet-like, walloping riffs propel the verses of “Let It Go” which bewilders with its pop-inflicted chorus. On top of that is a mesmerizing, double-punch climax consisting of atmospheric “Imperial” and tranquilizing “Stay A Little Longer,” both of which leave a profound impression.

Aside from the supreme interplay between fuzzed-out guitar riffs and oozing bass lines, the exceptionally dynamic drumming of Markus Nilsson plays an essential part in keeping the songs compact enough not to allow even a moment of boredom to slip in. The LP's great appeal is even broadened with dissonant solos scattered, often unsuspectingly, throughout numerous tracks. The bombastic instrumentation is supplemented with powerful vocals of Andreas Bengtsson whose timbre is tailor made for this kind of music, and the harmonies he comes up with are nothing short of infectious. His sole misstep in an otherwise flawless performance seems to be a repetitive chorus of “Iron Fed.”

Similarly to Torche's latest effort, Hydra feels like the template for stoner rock releases that are going to follow. It superbly encapsulates the current tendencies in heavy rock music with its knack for persistent groove, bludgeoning riffs and powerful melodies, enhanced by the decidedly modern production. It's a near-perfect amalgamation of all these elements that makes for the record's remarkable staying power.




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user ratings (13)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2013



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Stream:
http://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/hydra

Video for "Lava":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw8vbUXWdh4

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

wabbit
January 25th 2013



6988 Comments


4.5

greg84
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2013



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

prevailing alt/indie in the piechart

wabbit
January 25th 2013



6988 Comments


that lava song is seriously the worst song I've heard this year .

wabbit
January 25th 2013



6988 Comments


it sounds like what I imagine the youtube links that theacademy posts sound like.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2013



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha. To each his own dude. I love it. The video is awesome too.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



23806 Comments


"4.5
superb Greg Fisher "

sup I got like 40% alt/indie

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



23806 Comments


watched the video for Lava


nope!!!! not for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Calc
January 25th 2013



12142 Comments


omg yes, your avatar

Digging: Jizue - Shiori

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2013



10069 Comments


Nice review, man. You're such a consistent writer!

I'm checking out Lava right now. The riffs are great, but I'm not too fond of that vocalist.

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

greg84
Staff Reviewer
January 26th 2013



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks a bunch. Ah really? I'm a huge fan of this guy's vocals. I'm really hooked on the riffs too of course. Btw, Jennifer Lawrence is smokin' hot.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
January 26th 2013



10069 Comments


I guess I just would prefer another type of vocal here. I was expecting something like Every Time I Die's vocalist, haha.

And omg have you seen Silver Linings Playbook? If you feel like seeing dat body move, get into a theater right now.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
January 26th 2013



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I absolutely prefer clean vocals in my stoner rock. Still, his vocals are a bit harsher in some tracks to great effect.

Silver Linings Playbook is awesome. I really dug it and I usually can't stand romcoms. Zero Dark Thirty is probably even better. I'm still in Jessica Chastain's camp when it comes to getting an Oscar this year.

Jethro42
January 26th 2013



12391 Comments


I like what I've heard off of this. Gotta listen to the whole thing. Gonna read later.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2013



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'll be surprised if any stoner rock album tops this for me this year. Well... New Halfway To Gone and Sasquatch may definitely do it though.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2013



6010 Comments


Spinning the first song right now, awesome stuff.

Great music for having sex, driving or walking down the road with headphones on.


Kudos Greg.



Edit: I'm sensing some really weird/cool vibes from this one, i.e. the Symbol Of Life-era Paradise Lost driven vocals in "Over The Edge" and a latent Type O Negative groove in "In Vain".

Digging: Troldhaugen - Obzkure Anekdotez For Maniakal Massez

greg84
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2013



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed. Great music especially for having sex...

Good points. While it's never come to me before, definitely there's a tinge of Paradise Lost in the vocal melody of Over The Edge. As for In Vain and a couple of other tracks, I can definitely trace the Helmet influence.

Jethro42
January 27th 2013



12391 Comments


Great review, posd.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2013



3442 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is fantastic. Good review, have a pos

greg84
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2013



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys. Glad you're digging this Brostep.



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