Hinayana – Order Divine (Self-Released)

Monday, 19th March 2018
Rating: 8/10

When DR first found Hinayana, it was but a solo outing for Casey Hurd, but that didn’t stop 2014’s Endless demo from becoming quite a showstopper. Since then, Hurd has assembled a full-fledged act around himself (even if on Order Divine, he does all but drums) to spread some dreamy and melancholic material that feels like a complete fusion of melodic death metal and doom. As a debut, Order Divine is singularly impressive but foreshadows some even richer offerings from the band.

Seemingly able to force a glorious merger of Finnish melodeath epicness, mid-paced classic death metal, and the gloom and morose qualities of some of America’s doom metal greats, Hinayana has tapped into a pretty remarkable beast. Entirely immersive and fist-to-the-sky moments of triumph couple with more somber and introspective feelings as each track continues to elaborate, with striking results each time. There’s a solid rumbling of heaviness when the band slows it down into more lumbering territory and mid-paced territory (the title track) but they are just as willing to take things up into faster tempos within the same track to give a stronger dynamic. Some may call attention to the Insomnium reference point (“Conduit Closing”), but Hinayana manage to swerve away from that point with the doomier moments and colossal wall of heaviness that they can create in doing so (“Return to Nothing”). That said, they can absolutely engulf the listener in some top-shelf melodies at any given point, with the galloping “Arise” being this scribe’s cut of choice from the release.

Hinayana have proven to be an even stronger entity than their original Endless demo would imply based on Order Divine. A complete no-brainer if one is drawn in the least to melodic death or doom/death. Hinayana can hit some soaring highs and blissful lows, and should rightly catch some buzz in the coming months.

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