To paraphrase the great Jacobim Mugatu, Lycanthrope are “so hot right now.”
They played Wacken Open Air in Germany last year, got a spot on this years Good Things festival, and have just recently released their long-awaited 4 track EP “Hydra” . The Newcastle Metal-Core six-piece haven’t released a tonne of music since their 2018 album chapters, dropping two of the songs from Hydra in the lead-up.
Hydra opens with the heavy banger Built On Glass, which had a heavy verse/sing-along chorus format. While not pushing any genre boundaries, when you mail it this hard it doesn’t matter. I found on my first listen I was a lil impressed but on the second I was singing along really loud. (Not always the best idea when you work in a childcare center)
The Human Virus is next and is a bit heavier and a bit angrier, while nihilistic lyrics and some sweet riffs that lock in with the kickers real nice. The first two tracks are definitely the heaviest and show what the band can do as they’re a real tight unit but I wasn’t prepared for what came next.
The third track Move Mountains moved me. It’s a heavy ballad with some great lyrics that are specific enough to have me thinking that they’re someone’s lived experience. It’s still a super heavy track with syncopated chuggs and fast kickers, but is still catchy and sing-along worthy to be classed as a ballad and I loved it.
The last track Senses Betrayed has a down-tuned Pop Punk/Rock vibe rather than Metalcore with its steady drumming and heavy riff. It’s just as good a song as the other 3 but I think each time I listened to the EP I was still reeling a lil from Move Mountains to get into this one when it started but it has a sweet coda with about a minute left and ends strong, I think this’ll be a great song live.
The production job is killer, the band sounds real tight and locked in, the drums are real crisp and clear. Personally, I wouldn’t have minded a lil more Bass in the mix cos there are a few spots where you can hear it along with the guitar but a band with three guitars is gonna sound like a band with three guitars so that’s just a personal preference.
It’s hard to judge a band off of 4 songs, however, these are all well-written and well-produced and hit all the marks they were aiming for. Heavy syncopated riffs, tight chuggs and catchy as fuck choruses are present in each track, overall a real solid effort and definitely worth repeated listens.