Changes were apparently brewing in the Hydrogyn camp a few years back. After releasing the 2014 EP Break The Chains, the band returned to the studio to work on their new long player when original vocalist Julie Westlake abruptly left the party. Soldiering on, the band continued on, hiring Erica Parrot, a promising vocalist and an self-made business entrepreneur. She owns her own style salon in West Virginia. They arrive with their new album, Redemption, on the HighVolMusic label.
If somebody asked me after one spin, What did you think of Redemption? My first answer would probably be, I liked the end. Wherein, the person might offer a follow up question for clarification, You mean the last song? No. I mean when it was over, when it stopped playing. Yeah. I know that sounds harsh because, generally, I've liked Hydrogyn's music. Until now.
And harsh is probably them most apt, overarching, description for Redemption. My negative reaction began with the very first song, Fixir. The riffs were sharp and harsh, the bottom end heavy and thudding, and Parrot's vocals equally harsh, moving to screamo. Then my thought was, can this gal even sing? To be fair, yeah, I think so, just contextually in the music, her voice wasn't all that agreeable. It sounded like she was being tortured by the music. Devil God Devil continued the harsh and screamo format, adding additional male werewolf death growls.
And so it went, with me hitting the skip button too many times. I nearly gave up at the song Suffering, because I wanted to end the same. But I made it to the end. Whew! To be fair once more, there is one song, Jenny, that's completely unlike the others. A ballad of sorts with Parrot's voice over acoustic guitar. So is there anything positive to add at all? Yeah, I think so. Underneath all this brutal and harsh modern metal, Hydrogyn still knows how to infuse some semblance of melody and groove. Be thankful for small things.
Most people visit Dangerdog Music Reviews and read my reviews for one simple reason. I'm honest. If I have some a priori favorable bias towards an artist or band I like, I'll tell you up front. If I don't like what I hear, I'll be plain spoken. Today, I'm plain spoken. But you may feel differently and find the latest Hydrogyn incarnation of some interest. Check them out for yourself.
If somebody asked me after one spin, What did you think of Redemption. My first answer would probably be, I liked the end. Wherein, the person might offer a follow up question for clarification, You mean the last song? No. I mean when it was over, when it stopped playing. Yeah. I know that sounds harsh because, generally, I've liked Hydrogyn's music. Until now.
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