Hybrid Nightmares – The Second Age (2015) – Calling themselves “progressive black metal”, there are actually many sides to these Aussies. The Second Age marks the second disc in their The Ages project and is as equally strong, if not even stronger than their last effort, The First Age which came earlier this year.
Like its precursor, it’s not all that long, but it manages to deliver in the twenty minutes that it does contain and you’ll be quite thankful for that. After “Lost 2:19” opens the album with a crisp melodic intro, “Into The Labyrinth 5:43” charges forth with proggy crunch, scathing vocals and some slight modernisms in structure that I can deal with. Later in the track, a spacey melody takes the stage and allows a slew of solos to break in. Based on this song alone, I’m already noticing a continued sense of promise gathered from my thoughts on the first album.
“Only The Dead Know 1:43” changes things up as it throws in a folky acoustic that opens “What It Means To Die 4:19” which feels a little bit more like melodic death metal with a black metal vocal edge (let’s think Dissection) and added folk.
If there’s anyone out there that these guys remind me of, it’s Suidakra and that reminiscence continues into the album closer “And Reach The Stars 6:12” which additionally comes with some hard rock elements, and pumps more black metal in as well. It definitely sounds like everything that a finale should be, and makes me yearn for more. There is great promise here folks, and we’re only seeing another quarter of what’s still to be offered in the future. I’m literally salivating while I wait for more.
(5 Tracks, 20:00)