Hybrid Nightmares – The Second Age (Self-Released)Sunday, 3rd May 2015
Australian extreme metallers Hybrid Nightmares are seemingly out to make 2015 their year. Already having released The First Age (of which we at DR somehow passed over – for shame!), The Second Age continues their conceptual series forward. Highly ambitious, the band plans to still release another two efforts by year’s end (of which we can only presume will be called the third and fourth age), so this one brings us to the half-way point.
The Second Age opens with an atmospheric instrumental piece, featuring a nice melodic lead. This jumps into “In the Labyrinth,” which quickly exemplifies Hybrid Nightmare’s sound. There’s a thrashy melodic death metal framework, with some black metal undertones (most predominantly the vocals) that seem to recall Arsis from time to time. Though Hybrid Nightmares comes off as a bit more diverse. Plenty of opportunities for often intriguing solos also come about as the three “true” tracks demonstrate. Outside of the opening instrumental, “Only the Dead Know” also brings forth more acoustic guitars and clean vocals that give it a more folky vibe. “What it Means to Die” is the real gem of the bunch, harnessing plenty of action in the riff department, going from one catchy moment to the next and a standout solo. With the short time-frame, there’s really not a “miss” in the bunch.
With The Second Age already taking some strides from The First Age, some anticipation builds as we move towards the second half of the year and how far the band can push themselves with the rest of the material. It’s a cool concept, bringing together four EPs and telling a story through each. Hopefully, Hybrid Nightmares will continue to raise the bar with each one.