Album Review: Hyborian – Volume II
It’s a rarity for a band to balance muscularity and progression with as much class as Hyborian. This second full-length finds the Kansas City sluggers wearing their evident technical mastery lightly, while packing enough berserker passion to conjure images of frontman Martin Bush bellowing his vocals shirtless on a craggy mountaintop. It’s only enhanced by lyrics like Driven By Hunger’s ‘Today for the hunt / Tomorrow the feast!’, suitably brawny sentiments for a band whose name derives from Robert E. Howard’s Conan mythology.
There’s a definite hint of Mastodon about Hyborian’s skilled tangle of guitar and vocal arrangements, set alongside a thrusting, mid-tempo reinterpretation of thrash, and there would be few complaints if the next Metallica album featured songs as convincing as Stormbound or The Entity.
Expanse proves the band can be compellingly accessible when they choose, but the whole of Volume II demands the attention of the wider metal world.
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