Hryre – From Mortality to Infinity (Code666)

Wednesday, 21st September 2016
Rating: 7/10

Remember that push from Fen, Winterfylleth, and Wodensthrone that was to re-make black metal? We do! Certainly each band is of value (Fen perhaps being the best out of the three, argue as you may), but U.K. black metal appears to be settling into its normalized period, the result of the above-mentioned three not having an artistic breakthrough. Indeed the subsequent flood of second-wave bands has already taken place, including West Yorkshire’s Hryre, who formed in 2013 and are releasing their From Mortality to Infinity debut on the label who houses Fen, Code666.

Operating without the grandiosity and melodic volume as their older, more seasoned contemporaries, Hryre’s sound is draped in soot and dissonance. There’s little, if any spark in the production—it’s a pretty dingy, if not throwback (i.e. the ‘90s) sounding album. With that comes some straight BM shots: “Devastation of Empires” for starters, where a healthy dose of subterranean riffs make for a less bright and forest-y take on the U.K. black metal sound. And it’s a similar position Hryre takes throughout, with the notable exception being the acoustic/spoken word “Cast Into Shade Part One (Farewell),” which as one could imagine, is the best song on From Mortality to Infinity.

Not surprisingly, there are big, long song excursions (“Cast Into Shade Part Two (Black Sun”) tips the time scales at over 14 minutes), so Hryre is well within the textbook of their homeland’s BM sound. And even though we’re railing against the lack of shaded melodies, prompt acoustic burts, and winding riffs, Hryre fits comfortably into the overall U.K. extreme metal picture. From Mortality to Infinity is jagged and unforgiving, operating a bit outside of the box set up by the leaders of the U.K. black metal charge. That’s still a good start.

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