Label: CALIGARI RECORDS
Robert Fludd, a well-known English physician, who was also an investigator of the occult, had issues defining the term “the Hyle”. The word of Greek origin refers to matter, and it is where this doom band takes its name from. The act from Denmark has a definite attraction for what is occult and horrific, with their old-school Sabbath-ian vibe and great respect for contemporary bands such as doom overlords Electric Wizard. And this four track demo from The Hyle is a great display of what they have in store.
The clean parts of “Lucifero” soon take a turn for the heavier with the guitars making a fluid switch and start hammering down. The weight is unbearable and the lead work seems like it has been taken from the soundtracks of the old Hammer Horror films. The horrific sample from “The Omen” makes an appearance in there as well to get you all nice and terrified. “Serpent King” includes the same heavy riffology from the band, while the guitar in “Spiritual Sacrifice” seems to be throwing bricks on your head. Seriously, the guitar in this track is set on taking your head off.
The songs of the band progress with a slow tempo, as The Hyle makes sure you are completely immersed in their sound. This band is really good when it comes to building their songs, as is the case with “Lucifero,” gradually crafting the song before it reaches its peak, with a similar approach being applied in “Serpent King.” But it is on “Spiritual Sacrifice” where things get really serious. The riffs are devouring everything while the vocals offer a mesmerizing performance, reeling you in their trap. The vocals are great in this demo overall, with the performance in “Lucifero” having a touch more emotion in there as well. Of course, the band is channeling a bit of Ozzy in parts of “Serpent King,” and their more majestic performance in “Children of the Divine” sees them at their best.
Even with all that, this album would not be the same if it was not for that lead work. In some cases, the lead parts are a bit lower in the mix, as are the vocals, but they always have a solid impact on the sound. That is the case in “Lucifero,” while in “Serpent King” the leads might be short but they are certainly sweet as hell. Speaking of sweet, The Hyle can come up with some quite unexpected ideas for leads as well, leaving behind their horrific self. The more emotional touch in “Children of the Divine” is one of those moments with the leads near the end of the track bringing great melodic phrases together. On the other hand, they can also be quite unforgiving and relentless, reaching an almost mental state of playing, something they apply in the leads of “Spiritual Sacrifice,” giving the song a more schizoid vibe.
The Hyle is definitely on the right path. Their doom metal is heavy as shit and played as it should be. And considering that this is supposed to be just a demo, the quality of the performance is fucking good. Quite interested to see what they can do with a proper album next time around.