Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Hybernoid "Technology/Regression" Ep 1993
As my faithful readers have probably already noticed, I have more than a passing interest in metallic punk. This said, I hardly ever listen to proper metal bands, only to punk bands attempting to play filthy metal with spiky anger (and that is a huge difference, believe me). However, Hybernoid was an actual metal band, though to be fair, their music doesn't really fit in any stable category.
Hailing from the North of England, Hybernoid formed in 1991 and split up in 1998. They appear to have been an underground metal band and were rather prolific with three Ep's and three albums, among which the brilliant "The last day begins". "Technology/Regression" was released in 1993, a few months after their first Ep, "Dust in the wind" and a few months before their third, "World of ruin". The band must have had a bargain price for the recording studio or something... "Technology/Regression" was put out by Displeased Records, record label specialized in death/doom/black/extreme-brutal-hairy metal.
As previously mentioned, Hybernoid was not your typical extreme metal band. Though there are certainly elements of doom-metal (for the crushing and sad atmosphere) and black-metal (especially the evil sounding female vocals), their music is much moodier and almost atmospheric and is actually quite close from early Amebix (think "No sanctuary" and "Winter"), especially in some drumming patterns. The songs are mid-paced and the guitar is distorted enough to make you think you are actually listening to an old-school crust band at times, especially since the sound quality lies on the raw side of the spectrum. The songs have a dirgy and eery feel and don't make the listener very comfortable to say the least. The band had no less than seven members and there is a synth and a violin for added morbid weirdness and at times creepy chorus seem to call for winter and an equally cold and unpleasant thing. The two songs are very mournful-sounding and they possess an incantatory texture that is also symbolized in the band's artwork and its pagan stones.
Lyrics are of a metaphorical nature. "Technology/Regression" deals with the perverse notion of progress and how our obsession with progress actually makes our humanity regress. The second one, "Akeldama", is about Judas. Yes the bloke in the Bible. Now I am not really familiar with Bible-themed music but I think it stresses the schyzophrenic notions of damnation and redemption in christianity with the figure of Judas as the site of these contrary and yet clashing impulses. Or maybe it is something else... Anyway, this is a great Ep. As I said, Amebix definitely comes to mind, but also Nausea (with male/female vocals), early Misery or Saw Throat, and some - even - more metal-sounding affairs like the excellent 13 and Winter from New York and early Paradise Lost. Don't be afraid: there are no cheesy solos, the production is sufficiently rough around the edges and the guitar tuned in a Bristolian fashion, so that the record will be filthy and primal enough to please the punks.