Via Aeterna

France’s Hurakan (the Mayan god of wind, storm, and fire?) has apparently undergone a bit of rebirth from their first two more brutal death metal/slamming death/tech death albums, which feature songs titles like “Brutal Slamming Shit”, “Intergalactic Moo Moo Imperator”, “Xenometh” and “Transdimensional Whorehouse Spaceship”. They have changed logos, and now jumped on the more serious, if still loosely sci-fi-based, symphonic/blackened deathcore genre made insanely popular recently by the likes of Lorna Shore and Shadow of Intent.

And while those earlier efforts did have some spacy synths and (sometimes goofy) samples scattered around, on Via Aeterna, they have hired a composer, Philippe Parickmiler, to render the orchestration in a far more relevant, epic, and modern style, and the result is largely successful.

It’s easy to dismiss this ‘new era’ of Hurakan as a well-timed cash grab and jump to a genre that just fucking blown up over the last 2 years or so, but to their credit Via Aeterna is pretty solid. Not quite up there with the genre’s top tier acts like Lorna Shore, Carnifex, Shadow of Intent, Sin Deliverance or Worm Shepherd, (only my opinion of course), but certainly in that second tier ballpark with the likes of label-mates Downfall of Mankind or Victims, Hanging the Nihilist, Lie to the Silence, Dethrone the Corrupted, Third World Party, Gravewalker and such.

The more serious tone is well backed by Parickmiler’s dramatic orchestration, which while not Lorna Shore or Francesco Ferrini (Shadow of Intent, Fleshgod Apocalypse) levels of full-on, movie score grandiosity or the focal point of the music, it still delivers a nice sense of epic grandeur to the competent if standard deathcore that delivers ample breakdown-y bluster and blast beats, as well as the usual dual-layer growls and screeches in the vocal department (which also has a number of guest appearances for added credibility to the band’s makeover, thought you’d be hard-pressed to tell who appears where).

From dramatic opener “Imperium” (featuring Kyle Anderson of Brand of Sacrifice) through lumbering “Abyssal” (featuring Filip Danielsson from Humanity’s Last Breath) to closer “Via Aeterna” (feat. Raphaël Verguin from Psygnosis, Spectrale & Rïcïnn), the 9 songs all rumble and blast with ample heft, with the orchestration being more of a steady, ever-present subtle backdrop. But occasionally, when they are brought to the forefront such as the nice strings that start the moodier, instrumental title track, or the final stages of one of the album’s better tracks “Resurgence”, it’s pretty effective. That said, I’m not clamoring to revisit certain songs or moments as I have been with some of their top-level peers mentioned above (i.e. I’ve listened to Lorna Shore‘s “To The Hellfire”, many, many, many times).

A solid entry to a genre that’s in danger of oversaturation pretty soon, so the timing is just right and along with Downfall of Mankind‘s upcoming Vile Birth, show Lacerated Enemy as a solid player in the now vastly popular genre.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 3rd, 2022


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