Who in their right mind would write a concept album about the hyaena. “Hyaena is a genus comprising two of the living species of hyenas.” So why has the legendary Italian progressive death metal band Sadist made this creature interesting enough to merit an album?
First off, Sadist have always done whatever the fuck they want to do. Secondly, world music and tribal music have always been elements of their music, so having an album with a slightly African backdrop is a natural fit. The band explores the mythology that this African predator is ridden by the devil. That’s both prog and quite metal.
Musically, “Hyaena” is Sadist at their very best. Trevor is still spitting venom and bile with his trademark vocals. Bassist Andy Marchini still is mind-blowing on the fretless. Tommy Talamanca is a vastly under-appreciated guitarist. Drummer Alessio Spallarossa adds the ethnic flavor that an album staged on the Dark Continent needs. Every song is flat out incredible musically.
“Bouki” is one of my favorite tracks as it starts with strange keyboards, a standard for Sadist and has some of the best playing the band has ever done. The jazzy solo section is a highlight of the album. The opening track “The Lonely Mountain” is another that has incredible riffs and great playing. The instrumental “Gadawan Kura” is another highlight of the record that showcases the band’s playing and sense of melody and mood. It’s a beautiful oasis on an eerie album.
Another key ingredient to the album is the sound clips of the animal making noises and its unique “laughing” sound. It just adds to the overall vibe and authenticity of “Hyaena.” Sadist have really done it again. This album is as good as anything they have done, including the self-titled album which is a favorite of mine. Hopefully, people will sit up and take notice of this incredibly talented band. Fans of that old school tech death metal like Death or Cynic will find “Hyaena” a welcome addition to their collection. Do not miss this album!!
1. The Lonely Mountain
4. The Devil Riding the Evil Steed
5. Scavenger and Thief
6. Gadawan Kura
7. Eternal Enemies
8. African Devourers
9. Scratching Rocks
10. Genital Mask
Label: Scarlet Records