|Hayagriva - Descendant XII
1 January 2012
01. Descendant XII [instrumental version]
02. Is It Time For Me To Die ?
03. Heavenly Of Red Heaven
04. Poem Of My Return
05. Forgotten Soldiers
06. Deep Breath Before The Plunge [instrumental version]
07. Unseen Planet
08. Al Masihks Magick
09. Arrivals Of The End !!!
10. Emperor Awaits
11. Supreme Deception Order [instrumental version]
12. Syurga Di Hujung Jarum [SYJ/Sofea cover] [bonus]
Raw vs amateurish. Some times, the line is not so clear. Is it raw by choice to fit the music better, or can they just not afford hi-spec type studio work? Other times, like in Hayagriva's case, it's pretty clear. Descendant XII sounds like it was intended to be a thick, clean-cut epic piece of melodic black metal. Unfortunately, it just sounds incredibly thin and unmoving.
Odd or inappropriate production can always be remedied by being strong on the song writing front, though. As previously stated, sometimes, bands just can't afford the appropriate production work to match their sound. I really wish I could say that this was the case here, but frankly, the song writing is just as underwhelming as the production. Descendant is an album that wavers between the over-done, and the ill-fitting. At the core, it's extremely typical buzzing black metal with some synths thrown underneath. Not exactly the most innovative thing on the planet, but not all that bad either.
It's the closer inspection that really takes things from dull to worse here. Usually when dealing with a fairly uncreative band, it's natural to try and zone in on some identifiable aspect. If you try that with Descendant you'll begin to notice not only how forced the vocals sound, but how incongruous a lot of these parts are. Having mismatched parts can really bring out a certain feeling of spontaneity with a lot of groups, but when it's as subtle as it is here, it's hard to believe that's what they had in mind. Basically, many of these riffs & melodies frequently sound out of place in certain tempos. Almost as if they were written for a slower tempo, but sped up to be crow-barred into the whole double-bass & blast-beat sound, which makes it sound wholly unnatural (not in a good way).
Hayagriva definitely have their heart in the right place here. They definitely have a solid direction, and the technical ability, but they really need to head back to the drawing board. Firstly, finding something to separate them from the legions of other synth-black metal bands out there, then give a little more consideration to their sense of timing.
Written on 17.05.2012 by
Former EIC, now semi-retired.