Hardcore Anal Hydrogen
The Talas of Satan

After almost 15 years in the reviewing game, there is very little that surprises me or leaves me speechless in today’s metal scene. Then along comes France’s Hardcore Anal Hydrogen and fucks everything up.

I really don’t even know where to begin. Maybe that the band likes the likes of Napalm Death, Pryapisme and Mr Bungle? But on top of a very punk/grindcore/hardcore/ math core backbone, and a large ethnic influence, the band is incredibly eclectic, experimental and unpredictable to the point where there really isn’t a simple pigeonhole for their sound.

There are guitars, there is a bass, there are drums, there are feedback drenched riffs, there are blasts, there are distorted screams and growls. But then there are also dance beats, flutes, techno, Arabic music, Indian, Chinese music, chaotic sampling and programming and hip hop. And that’s just me trying to compartmentalize everything in easy to dissect, describable slices. Luckily the release is 11 short stabs in 22 minutes, so there isn’t a lot of time to really digest the sound which will either come across as a group of chimps given random instruments and sound boards or a brilliant foray into musical experimentalism; for me it’s a little of both.

Openers “Dhamar” and “Ramahd (feat. DJ Mattéo)” is a pretty good glimpse at the band’s sound the former a lurching, staggering explosion of caustic riffs laced with gentle tribal flutes and beats while the latter is frenzied electronica blended grindcore burst closed out by cool little hip h0p beat. “Release the Crackhead” is driven by a thick beat and orchestration before a black metal blast beat and growl comes out of nowhere before the “Pentamere” delivers a new age massage parlor soundtrack to relax too. What. The. Fuck.

And I was pretty much saying that for the rest of the album whether the noisy “Kalakaka” which has a girl crying and a massive deathcore breakdown, “Rupack”, which is grindcore meets 50s beach/surf music, the haywire “Krr”, the tribal chant of “한오백년 (feat. Doowah)”, the electronic chaos of “Coq Au Van”, and the 3 and a half minute instrumental closer “Chautal” which seems to take elements of the prior 10 tracks and smush it all together into an ethnic smorgasbord of sounds  – and it somehow works.

The only track which seems to have any remote sense of structure is the distorted hardcore of the eighth track, “Coi”, and it comes across as rather safe musically compared to the rest of the album but isn’t enough to reign in the rest of the album from utterly batshit insane.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 1st, 2014

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