Release DetailsLABEL Listenable
RELEASED ON 2/26/2007
posted on 2/2007 By:
When a metal band voluntarily covers a song originally performed by Spanish hip hop/flamenco artists, you know to expect something a little left of center. Traditional metal this is not. The group itself, or at least those working publicity at Listenable Records, tags Strapping Young Lad, Meshuggah and Death as primary influences, and those first two bands make perfect sense after listening to Amoeba, the second full-length in as many years by this French foursome.
Fortunately, and I say this only because I can't imagine the band being successfully incorporated into Hacride's sound, the Chuck Schuldiner influence is very subtle (maybe in some of the leads?), if present at all. Instead, the group takes one part Devin Townsend experimental insanity and combines it with a generous dose of Meshuggah's heavy, very rhythmic-based mayhem to devise a catchy concoction of genuine chaos. An obvious comparison due to the shared nationality would be Gojira, but Hacride are less atmospheric and haven't quite developed their sound to the extent of their French brethren. That isn't to say that Amoeba isn't a compelling listen. Matching Gojira's creativity is a feat not easily achieved. Nonetheless, the group does manage to carve their own little niche, and deservedly so, as songs like opener "Perturbed" and "Strength" are played with a maturity and confidence not often seen in relatively young bands like Hacride, who formed in 2001.
The seven and a half minute closer, "On the Threshold of Death," is Amoeba's finest moment. The band devotes more time to creating an ethereal atmosphere, the clean vocals giving this song a more emotional and reflective feel than the rest of the album. Oddly enough, this is probably where they sound most like Gojira, their progressive tendencies pushed to the forefront. The song reminded me a little of "From the Sky," actually, the third track on Gojira's "From Mars to Sirius," as the two share some pretty similar ounding riffs. While both bands are equally pummeling, I think Hacride are a little less intense and suffer more in the songwriting department. There were times when I felt like a few of these songs were leading nowhere interesting, "Fate" and "Ultimate Necat" being the worst offenders.
Complaints about inconsistent songwriting aside, Amoeba is a very good second album. The Ojos de Brujo cover was weird, but hey, they made it their own and I commend them for taking that risk. Not everyone is going to dig Amoeba, but if you like Strapping Young Lad and/or Meshuggah, you can't go wrong here. The band can be amazingly infectious and catchy while still retaining a considerable amount of grit. I look forward to hearing what direction these guys take with their next full-length.
Register to post comments.