Sporting a moniker that describes the ancient Egyptian writing system, you’d expect this Leeds sextet to have some pretty far-out ideas on where they believe modern metal should be headed right now. Judging from the mashed-up sound that emerges from their Freefall EP that assessment rings true.
The spine of the music is one hefty wedge of hard-hitting technical
groove metal, much in the manic, jam-packed style of Meshuggah or
Periphery. However, woven around this are other elements such as
electronic segues and heady melodic touches. They aren’t afraid to break
flow to achieve the aim of cramming their two very different vocalists
in. Mark Howes’ deathly roars and scowls most certainly get the blood
boiling, whilst Valentina Reptile’s Within Temptation-esque, crystalline
singing speaks to the heart.
There’s a current trend for dual vocal bands and the main problem
most have is in marrying the twin styles. Certainly, these two seem
poles apart. Neither the busy song construction or the harsh production
help matters, yet one cannot escape the fact that throughout tracks like
“In The Air” and, in particular, “Dubious Disc”, the one pulls whilst
the other pushes. Behind the band’s lightning groove, this boy-girl
combo simply tear the listener asunder.
Happily, the gritty title-track and the blacker “Tenebris”, both
feature a slower, spacious, infinitely more focussed design. The former
track leaps to the fore as the standout. It’s strongly reminiscent of
the kind of dark, hectic lunacy that Luis Dubuc’s Of Legends pumped out
and certainly proves that Hieroglyph aren’t short of talent. As a live
act, Hieroglyph have the potential to thrill, but they might need to
show a little less muscle and a little more of their dark side when
hitting the studio.
Have a listen here: https://www.facebook.com/hieroglyphband