Eryn Non Dae. – Hydra Lernaia [2009]

The latest band to grace djent compendium are the French Eryn Non Dae. I started with the likes of Meshuggah and they to me seemed like zenith to which most of band of this genre tried to reach. Excruciatingly powerful and the queerest of signatures made me want to rethink my obsession with classic progressive metal of the likes of Opeth as my favorites. Eryn Non Dae. makes me think again, again.

As per its mythological definition – the mythical nine-headed serpent, slain by Hercules, that grew two heads in place of each one that was cut off, unless the wound was cauterized – Hydra Lernaia explores nine human feelings as many-sided problems that present new difficulties each time one aspect of them seems to be solved or overcome. Each song is a feeling; each feeling is an incurable disease that tortures the heart of man.

I got introduced to this band via The Djent-Lemens Club, a group on Facebook, so Thank you!

One thing about this music is the complexity of getting the vocals right, especially when the production of most of the albums is very raw and very potent and savage. It being one of the newest of the genres to be explored, many bands have tried numerous variations, with gutturals, shrieks and even clean female goth vocals (Mask of Judas). Of them I found Periphery and Hydrojent/Skyharbour (Indian!) top notch. Till now. Vocals, done by Nogues Mathieu backed by Quintin, sound heinous and are apt for this production. This debut album is an hour long assault and leaving the listener begging for more. I heard the album twice over and Obzen once before I couldn’t any more. Bliss.

Hydra Lernaia is a beautiful production, honest. The instruments have been handled so perfectly that there is almost no scope for me to suggest tweaks. The refined signature patterns along with the arithmetical beats really gelled well and helped create this diabolical atmosphere. The Decline and the Fall and Lam Tsol Oua effectively use patches of hanging notes and silence to give this ethereal feel of brooding iniquity, something quite unique to this sub-genre of music.

For any guy out there with a thing for seven stringed blasphemies, this is it. Through Dark Skies, Existence Asleep (video below), Echoes Of Distress would rank amongst my favorites. Pure is this 11 minute track which I swear would transport you to a different dimension all together, minus the prerequisite trip. This mystic underlying rhythm in the entire song would continue to echo long after the track is over and done with.

But, after having given justice to this album, I would still point out a few things that I think END could add. Firstly make the drums prominent. The skill portrayed in this album is phenomenal and yet the drums are not the first thing that hit me. They should be loud, bombastic and unrelenting which this album lacks. Secondly, a couple of the tracks sound similar, so after the initial boost, no riff or melody sticks to you. There is no hangover after a dosage of this album. The album would’ve been more impressive with a fewer tracks, showcases their skill cent percent.

Nonetheless, for a debut this is one of the best albums I have heard so far and I’m eager to see what this band grows into. Love to see them tour India sometime.

A well-earned 8.5/10.

Cheers! Check the track out :

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