Released: 2013, Indie Recordings
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Seeing the name 'Hacride' instantly gave me chills. A phenomenal band return with a new release as the French prog maestros bestow unto us 'Back Where You've Never Been', and they do not disappoint, once again. With a new label in Indie Recordings, the band have some very exciting plans, and this album will do them many favors with regard to said plans. Released on 22/04/13, the album has already seen some high acclaim and positive feedback, and I intend to contribute to that collective.
As you'd expect, the album starts off in epic fashion with the track 'Introversion' with a mix of Acoustic and some real chug. Luiss' relentless vocals do not let up with his perfect mix of cleans reminiscent of that of Ghost Brigade and screams that would rival that of Cameron Heacock (American Head Charge). The progressive elements are still very much alive in this album with a very doom-like atmosphere throughout. 'Back to Where You've Never Been' could be one of the bands' best releases.
The vocal range is phenomenal, ranging from the most perfect cleans to crushing screams and then sailing to distant chants to give the album a very picturesque, atmospheric feel to it, combined with the band's technical side to their musicianship and you have one hell of a release on your hands.
Track 2 'Strive Ever to More' offers some hard hitting clean vocal groove metal with the most doom ridden chorus as Hacride show their dark side yet again effortlessly. The transitional quality of their work is extraordinary and will keep you guessing and leave you pleasantly surprised, if not with your mind blown.
After some firm hard hitting stuff from the lads from France, track 3 'Synesthesia' offers a slower, darker element even in it's heaviest matter. This particular track is very much reminiscent of Ghost Brigade's 'Isolation Songs' album, which is also a top class album.
Overall production of the album is spot on, every instrument is prominent in it's own way and the album flows very well. There really aren't many negatives to the album, if there was one I would say there isn't enough of the spine tingling epic sections like that in 'Introversion'. However, that is merely the slightest of criticisms.
The standout track for me has to be track 5, 'Edification of the Fall', this song breathes so much life into the listener, almost putting them in a trance with a steady yet beautiful groove before a sublime progression into a brutal tempo change nailed to perfection.
With a perfect end, this release is definitely on par with previous releases and offers a new dimension showing the band's ability to be consistently good song writers. The band embark on several tours this year and make various festival appearances, if you see their name, make sure you see them and you wont be disappointed.
I would recommend this album to anyone who enjoys their mix of prog and metal, heavy and soft in the same song, good structures all sprinkled with a dash of doomy goodness. Definitely a top album and one well worth listening to and buying.
Review by Andy May