Review Summary: Undoubtedly Red Harvest's slowest burning work, HyBreed also happens to be one of their best.
Red Harvest's style of industrial metal is unlike that of Fear Factory
or Strapping Young Lad
; diverse and more death metal-ish than the former and less explosive than the latter. Perhaps best shown on their sophomore effort, There's Beauty in the Purity of Sadness
, and Sick Transit Gloria Mundi
, the band achieves a darker, but also more melodic sound that characterizes their otherwise very aggressive death metal riffs. HyBreed is perhaps an anomaly in regard to the band's overall sound, however.
HyBreed largely plays down the death metal aspects found on their other records. Instead, it draws upon the post-punk influences of earlier industrial acts and focuses on atmospheric, slow, spacious pieces, not wholely removed from the work of Devin Townsend
in his non-Strapping projects. The tracks lack much in the way of typical song structure, instead progressing from an initial motif for a whole song: even the album's faster tracks, like Monumental
, tend to be restrained in terms of launching into several different riffs, with at most 3 or 4 within each, mostly consisting of wide chords. This lends the album a fairly basic, flowing sound, but also gives the arrangements far more opportunity to breath, showing that industrial doesn't necessary have to be claustrophobic.
There are exceptions to this dotted about. Mutant
appears early in the album, and with an off kilter palm muted riff it's one of the more chilling tracks. The Harder They Fall
's heavy, stop-start riffs and forceful vocal lines likewise distance it from the comparatively tranquil remainder of the album; the opener, Mazturnation
also possesses this quality, and is an album highlight as a result of that along with its darker keyboard melodies. These tracks help to prevent the otherwise quite slow remainder of the album from becoming tiresome, and instead the album as a whole is considerably more dynamic for it. This alternation between atmospheric, slow burning tracks like the closing track The Burning Wheel
and more aggressive ones like The Harder They Fall
overall results in an extremely strong pace to the album.
HyBreed's overall less heavy sound results in it being in some ways Red Harvest's most accessible album, but with heaps of depth, with layers upon layers of subtle leads and samples guaranteeing high replay-ability. Monumental indeed, HyBreed succeeds in presenting a truly massive, but not overwhelming form of industrial.