Hyvmine – Fight or Flight (Seek and Strike)

Thursday, 21st June 2018
Rating: 9/10

In preparation for a nationwide summer tour in support of Angel Vivaldi, Hyvmine feel the need to have a new product to support the cause – which means the public will get to enjoy Fight or Flight. My first exposure to this Los Angeles quartet, who traverse an interesting cocktail of modern heavy rock and progressive metal – balancing that tightrope between intricacy and catchiness throughout these three songs. And unlike their earlier Earthquake full-length release at the beginning of the year that focused on tighter, shorter arrangements, Fight or Flight showcases their experimental and broader sonic ideas – as the songs run from 8:26 to almost 13 minutes, making for a solid 32 minutes of material to wrap your head around.

Imagine if you will a thicker, crunchier guitar tone that has that modern finesse/stomp factor, add on the top a solid rhythm section who know when to propel the progressive proceedings or lay back into a pocket groove, and then sprinkle on top some interesting instrumental sequences around the highly intoxicating, Lajon/Sevendust-like vocals from guitarist Al Joseph and that gives you a broad picture of what’s in store. His guitar play does fluctuate between modern acts like Sevendust/Disturbed and the progressive metal veterans Dream Theater or Swedish djent masters Meshuggah – ensuring that there will always be a solid set of melodies and hooks on both the vocal and musical fronts. Yes, those who love the shred and neoclassical arpeggio runs will enjoy the tradeoffs between Al and fellow guitarist Alon Mei-Tai, in addition to the killer acoustic aspects that open and start “The Epicoustic”, while the EDM/spacey keyboards provide interesting drumming possibilities for Fabrizio Cavallero against a comforting Al vocal melody during the broad “Feather Bed”. There is a proper respect for emotion and feel against the obvious technical abilities on tap – this scribe often losing himself within different measures of tranquility or ambiance while at other times the heaviness and progressive nature become the focal point.

Writing and performing this material with a no holds barred, gloves off approach, Hyvmine possess that rare appeal of musicianship and catchiness – opening the landscape for wider audience potential.

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