Italy’s Sadist haven’t released an album in quite a while, but Hyaena stands as a notable effort among a catalog completely filled to the brim with notable efforts. Now the Death, Atheist and early Cynic similarities are here, coming from an act who has been around just as long as all three of these acts. (Sadist released their first album, Above The Light in ’93.) Five years after the jaw-dropping Season In Silence, we finally get another dose of progressive and highly technical death metal, which also includes everything from weird animal noises to female vocals, and the occasional smattering of keyboard. I should note that the keyboard effects sound dated here, but that to me is a good thing. There are far too many bands out there using over-the-fucking-top synths out there and it’s good top hear an act that uses synth effects as a tool instead of a backbone. The frontman’s harsh vocal approach may not be as gravelly as you’d like, but it’s quite obvious that he’s come from a time far before death metal had to sound like a cement truck being unloaded. In addition to the album being a death metal record, it also isn’t (insert moment of shock) as there aare some very passionate pieces in place like “Gadawan Kura” (3:40) which would probably make a pleasant atmosphere for fucking. I can almost hear the screams of orgasm now. But that’s just the kind of band that Sadist have always been and they’ve always taken a new and different approach to their material.
That being said, Hyaena is a very proggy record at it’s core and probably won’t appeal to people who are looking for something heavier, but I’d feel more content with humanity if they did. Put away your Whitechapel for just one moment and give something a listen that is truly worthwhile. The world music sections on tracks like the opener “The Lonely Mountain” (5:17) (No, not the one from The Hobbit) and “Eternal Enemies” (4:13) come off without a hitch and delve into territory that I’ve only heard from Persephone as of late. Though I’ll add that these sections actually come off a bit better than those of Persephone, but maybe that’s because we’re actually dealing with a death metal approach here and not one that sounds more core in areas. Hyaena might still be a hard sell for some as it really exemplifies prog over everything else and feels like an Exivious album with more death metal and world music influences. But that’s not a problem, as this is technically what progressive death metal sounds like. It’s not a record where choruses are a main point, as the meat of the album is generously displayed right before your ears. In a word, it’s an awesome listen that you’ll definitely want to sink your teeth into from the start. It’s not a very long record, but it’s just long enough to show us that two decades later, Sadist still manage to deliver.
(10 Tracks, 45:00)