This is not the same Hacride who released Lazarus back in 2009. This is a more focused and determined Hacride sporting a new vocalist and drummer and a positively destructive fourth album called Back To Where You’ve Never Been. The other French metal band you need to pay attention to, Hacride deliver a more concise yet just as potent opus with songs never lingering past the five minute mark on average (Lazarus opened with a fifteen minute track by comparison) and a vocalist who is familiar enough to former singer Samuel Bourreau at times for old fans but still brings his own voice and range making Back To Where You’ve Never Been one of the most unique releases the band has ever unleashed.
From the start, new vocalist Luiss Roux sets his own path and the tone for the rest of BTWYNB switching from a subtle clean vocal intro to an ear piercing screech and then a guttural growl warning listeners that when he lets loose, they better be prepared. Later on during “Requiem For A Lullaby” the tone shifts even more with Roux taking on some Alice In Chains-inspired vocal harmonies which despite the heavy nature of Hacride, fit perfectly on this album.
However, sometimes it’s the vocal-less songs that deliver the most punch here or at least prove how powerful the rest of Hacride is. Whether it’s the menacing “Synesthesia” or the technical groove of “To Numb The Pain” which features Roux for an instant to deliver an eardrum bursting scream. It also has a standout performance from new drummer Florent Marcadet and segues nicely into the vicious “Ghost Of The Modern World” with guitarist Adrien Grousset bringing a rifftastic sonic barrage towards the end. Other standouts on BTWYNB include Grousset’s crushing beast of a breakdown during one of the finest Hacride tracks ever written, “Edification Of The Fall”. As a precursor to the aural carnage, bassist Benoist Danneville helps add fuel to the tribal yet almost child-like fire and Roux switches from a mechanical effects laden clean vocal until succumbing to the monster within and belting out something truly fantastic.
One of the most vital and refreshing heavy releases of 2013, Back To Where You’ve Never Been is the dawn of a new era for Hacride and you’d be remiss if you didn’t start listening. Back To Where You’ve Never Been is out now on Indie Recordings. Get a copy here.