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CD Review: Hacride – Amoeba

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hacride amoebaWhat Gojira was last year, Hacride is this year – a French metallic missile that should detonate devastatingly across the Atlantic. Put away those freedom fries and call FEMA. On second thought, don't – they've got their own French Quarter to deal with. It's been no quarter from the French this past year, with Merrimack, Antaeus, Blut Aus Nord, and Spektr tearing it up black metal-wise, and Gorod, Gojira, Yyrkoon, and Phazm delivering quality death metal.

Hacride has now vaulted to the top of that list. Its debut, Deviant Current Signal, was solid; few, though, could have foreseen the tremendous progression on Amoeba. Quite simply, it's metal for the mind, body, and soul.

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The band shares common aspects with Gojira, splaying abstract, widescreen chords across the crushing, twisting rhythms of Strapping Young Lad and Meshuggah. Under this skin of liquid metal, electronics pulse and glow. The result is the most futuristic sound in metal since Fear Factory's Demanufacture.

What sets Hacride apart are the ghosts in its machine. Acoustic guitars add human textures to its chugging riffs; picture not a campfire singalong, but amber waves of grain as giant mecha robots march by. "Deprived of Soul" hits heart-pounding climaxes, thanks to wrenching clean singing. Not only does the song mine the past with Death-approved harmonies, it kicks them into the future with furious, thundering riffs. "Fate" also opens with acoustic guitar, but drops into skull-caving wrecking balls of riffing, with well-timed squeaks that feel like rakes across the face. "Liquid" offers a respite from the madness, with lush, clean-toned tapping a la Joe Satriani.

The hands-down highlight is "Zambra," a collaboration with the Spanish flamenco group Ojos de Brujo. It sounds crazy, but it absolutely works. Seductive female vocals and spicy acoustic strumming lead to a syncopated, percussive throwdown that recalls Sepultura's "Ratamahatta." Different countries and different tribes, of course – but the pulse is the same. This is metal for the future, smashing sonic, genre, and national boundaries.


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Hacride on MySpace
Listenable Records

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