Hacride
Amoeba


4.5
superb

Review

by TheDistantFuture USER (24 Reviews)
May 29th, 2008 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Best Thing to Come out of France Since Snooty Accents and Escargot.

Many countries in Europe have established themselves over the years as key contributors to the world's ever-growing metal community. France isn't one of them. England created the classic style of the NWOBHM, Sweden brought us Melo Death, and Norway, Black Metal. Even nations like Italy and Germany have made impressive impacts on the genres of Goth Metal, Metalcore, and Prog Metal, but for some odd reason, it has always seemed a bit of a rarity for one to hear about a worthwhile French metal band. However, just as of recent this seems to be changing with the advent of bands like Gojira and Symbyosis, carving out their own unique style of heavy music focused on harsh vocals, mathy riffing, progressive tendencies, and an undeniable sense of ambiance. Now (or I should say in 2007) a new band has arrived to take the burgeoning scene to new heights. This group is Hacride.

Hacride is a technical death metal band hailing from Poitiers, France that plays a style of metal that is very difficult to define or easily categorize. In several reviews I have read of their new album, Amoeba, many writers have name-dropped artists such as Meshuggah, Cynic, and Strapping Young Lad when describing their sound. It is easy to see where such comparisons come from in the group's liberal use of polyrhythmic riffs, electronic layers, calm clean sections, and raw ferocity. However, Hacride, unlike many new bands of recent, does not wholesale rip-off such influential groups, but instead forges a truly unique sound of their own. There are many things that metal is commonly associated with these days, but rarely does one ever think of a death metal band as being stylish, urban, and even sophisticated. Oddly enough, these are all adjectives that come to mind in describing Hacride. Amoeba, in this regard, sounds much more like a sonic backdrop to an edgy futuristic thriller, a la "The Matrix," rather than say "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" (Friggen Great Movie by the way) where more generic, knuckle-headed heavy music is typically cast (Wyld Stallion!) Hacride is not so much the future of metal as they are metal from the future; a bright exciting future where pulsing electronics and fusion-esque leads light up the sky, but also hide the sinister conflict between the fearsome mechanical rhythms of the machines and the vulnerably human acoustic guitars and vocals. This is seen clearly in how so many of the songs have calm, clean intros that are vehemently engulfed by the band's monolithic walls of distortion. Amoeba is thus, a teetering balance of light and dark; hope and despair.

If that all sounds a bit too abstract and pretentious to be tasteful, let me explain it in a bit more of a direct fashion. Imagine if Meshuggah had gone in a totally different direction after "Destroy. Erase. Improve." keeping their fast, brutal technicality, but at the same time becoming much more ambitious and creative. The guitars and bass do far more than just screw with the listeners head, and shred, instead adding in Tool-like melodies and ambient parts as well as soothing acoustic interludes. The Drums supplement these diverse sounds beautifully with a fine mix of staggered polyrhythms, solid tribal grooves, and even Mars Volta's mind-bending latin beats. These instrumentations sound especially fierce when paired with the immense vocals of frontman, Sam Borreau. At a glance he sounds a bit like a deeper, eviler Jens Kidman, however, he quickly proves that he is capable of much more, namely clean singing... well sort of. There are no patented "Killswitch Choruses" to be found on the album, but Borreau instead utilizes a unique type of belted singing voice/tonal shouting in a handful of songs like "Perturbed," "Vision of Hate," and "Deprived of Soul" to great results. He also layers these gruff melodies in some of the tracks to create very cool harmonies.

The group's song-writing style is equally interesting. All of the non interlude tracks fall between the five to seven minute range and are chock full of technical breaks, dynamic shifts, crescendos, and decrescendos that are laid out in an unpredictable, yet cohesive fashion. Needless to say, one has to possess a certain level of disenchantment with the whole "verse-chorus-verse-chorus" structure to appreciate these hulking opuses. Some great examples of this style are found in the beautifully multifaceted epics "Deprived of Soul" and "On the Threshold of Death." Perhaps the finest example of the bands unadulterated creativity though, can be found in their unorthodox collaboration with Spanish flamenco collective, "Ojos de Brujo," on the song, Zambra. The track, featuring Spanish female vocals, rapping, latin percussion and solos, sounds like a mess on paper, but works unbelievably well, easily topping anything latin-metal bands like Ill Nino, Ankla, or Soulfly have ever done.

In the midst of all these claims of Amoeba being such a sophisticated and classy record, did I fail to mention that it is also heavy as f**k? Because it most certainly is. With the exceptions of the two very cool ambient interludes (Liquid and Ultima Necat) the album rocks hard from start to finish. Searing cuts like "Fate," "Strength," and "Cycle" are particularly brutal, with the latter song spanning an entire seven minutes with out a single dull moment as well as one of the most bad-ass riffs I believe I have ever heard in the chorus.

Hacride has undoubtedly put an immense amount of effort into Amoeba, however as an album it requires an equal level of ardor from the listener in order to be truly appreciated. It is by no means an accessible record; the songs are lengthy, erratic and totally devoid of radio-friendly choruses, Euro-guitar harmonies, and chugga-chugga breakdowns, however, the payoff of multiple listens is worth any metal aficionado's time. Highly recommended.



Recent reviews by this author
Hacride LazarusNickelback Dark Horse
Dir En Grey UroborosWalls of Jericho The American Dream
Staind The Illusion of ProgressMisery Signals Controller
user ratings (91)
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
crazycobs (4)
Diverse French Technical Metal...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SHOOTME
May 29th 2008


2393 Comments


Another impressive review...

TheDistantFuture
May 29th 2008


201 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Part 12.



Yes another repost, but this is probably one of my favorite finds from the last few

months so hopefully y'all will give it a listen : )



here are links to my two favorite tracks which aren't on their myspace:



http://www.deezer.com/track/deprived-of-soul-T293801



http://www.deezer.com/track/cycle-T293800





This Message Edited On 05.29.08

TheStarclassicTreatment
May 29th 2008


2910 Comments


I love this album

The live vid on their myspace is sooooo good

Bleak123
August 10th 2008


1900 Comments


hacride vs gorod

let battle commence

TheDistantFuture
September 4th 2008


201 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hacride no doubt- much more melodic, textured, epic, and original sounding

DonTheReader
April 30th 2009


121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great album, Zambra is amazng.

Zettel
November 14th 2009


661 Comments


Great review-

bloc
November 14th 2009


57941 Comments


band is great

Digging: Orange Juice - You Can't Hide Your Love Forever

Jebull
April 19th 2010


1340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is excellent!!

FR33L0RD
November 6th 2010


1474 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is incredibly good.



thumbcrusher
April 29th 2012


3762 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i found this to (ever so slightly) drag in the middle but there's still more than enough here to be a fantastic album if you stick with it

evilford
July 15th 2012


42110 Comments


How does this stack up against Lazarus?

evilford
July 15th 2012


42110 Comments


Oops dbl post

MO
July 15th 2012


22756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so good, band is criminally underrated



"How does this stack up against Lazarus?"



I prefer lazarus a little more, but this still holds up nicely.



evilford
July 15th 2012


42110 Comments


Thx MO I liked Lazarus a lot at first and it's just getting better I think I need to get this

KjSwantko
July 15th 2012


11441 Comments


yeah Lazarus ruled; I keep forgetting to check this one out. Sup Ford

evilford
July 15th 2012


42110 Comments


Not much sup kj. Methinks we need to check this out

Dimor
July 15th 2012


1839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lazarus is a bit better than this one imo. Its still solid though. Im seriously craving a new album from these guys

MO
July 15th 2012


22756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that would be so tits

Dimor
July 15th 2012


1839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeh man its been a long while since Lazarus, so it should be on the way



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy