HYBRIDISM - Hybridism

Hybridism - Hybridism

6 songs
31:15 minutes
***** ****


Nowadays when we talk about progressive metal, we talk about bands like Haken and Periphery. Things were different when I was young, but according to the old saying "O tempora o mores!", you canít stop progress, and even old-timers like me have to accept that music has changed over the decades.

Take for instance Hybridism from the South of Belgium, who mostly look like still very young people. The band was founded by eight string guitarist Jeffrey Ricaille, who soon understood that his music would achieve much more vitality in a band setting. First joined by drummer Lucas Billon and later by second guitarist Alexis Kaupp and bassist Marc "Mulles" Muller Ė the latter well known from Luxembourgish bands like Miles To Perdition, No Name,... - the quartet was soon ready to drive off to the Czech Republic where they recorded their self-titled debut EP with producer Tomas Raclavsky.

Hybridism describe their music as a mix between ambient, djent, groove and progressive metal, and they had decided early on to do it without a vocalist. After my first time through the EP, I can assure you that so much is happening, a vocalist wouldnít know where to lay down his vocal lines. Also I want to point out the really great production, something you probably get in Eastern Europe for a more adequate price than in the West. From a musical vantage point, the bandís four given genres more or less make sense. Itís basically instrumental progressive metal, with some math rock signatures and the complex rhythms that might be what the youth of today calls djent. Of course the rhythm section makes sure that there is plenty of groove, and mellow moments in between not only make the sound more dynamic, but also justify the ambient label.

The EP comes with three shorter tracks that are more immediate and yet not simplistic. The opener Nova is a rather bone-dry groove metal track with enough complexities to allow the progressive label, whereas Animal Has Led Us is surprisingly melodic, and Glitch starts with nice electronic effects and then turns into a bone crushing prog metal piece that still finds some room more melodies. Then there are three longer tracks between six and seven minutes, and it is here where the musicians can indulge their progressive fantasies. Resilience is the most ambient sounding track on the album, and its position in the middle of the EP gives the listener some well deserved respite. The other two long-tracks end the EP, and both have been pre-released as singles on your typical streaming platforms. Anomalies combines melodic progressive metal with ambient moments, whereas Delirium shows the band at its most playful, with the help of their producer as a special guest.

Although my roots lie more in the early days of progressive metal, it is obvious even to me that Hybridism are a tight band led by a tremendous songwriter. All the songs, without an exception, manage to be complex and melodic, sometimes even catchy, at the same time. For an EP, you get a generous running time of more than half an hour, and not only young prog metal enthusiasts will be delighted by this first offering of a promising new band from Belgium with a little help from Luxembourg.

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