2017’s Serpentine was an enjoyably aggressive cold slab of melodic darkness. Three years later, and the band return, and they’ve clearly been busy.
Fin de Règne contains 40 minutes of dark aggression, in line with its predecessor. The songs are sharp and brutal, with the harsher, merciless side of black metal being near-relentlessly pushed forward at every opportunity. Hrygal play their music like they want to tear down the world and replace it with Hellfire.
Welded to this approach is a melodic sensibility that makes for an engaging form of brutality. Rather than mostly being the sort of melodies that stand out and take the spotlight though, they are frequently so closely entwined to the rest of the music that they merge with it very effectively. In this way the songs on Fin de Règne are not without atmosphere or emotive presence, despite the band’s emphasis on blackened hostility.
A variety of paces and moods are used here, despite my highlighting of the band’s more brutal tendencies thus far. Hyrgal slow down on some songs, adopting a more atmospheric or doomier persona. There’s even some lighter moments that appear out of the band’s onslaught on occasion. In truth, Fin de Règne has a good amount of diversity of assault on it to make the experience worthwhile, and to avoid a one-dimensional delivery.
Fin de Règne is another solid release from Hyrgal, and a worthy follow up to their debut album. Check this out if you want some contemporary black metal with teeth.