This is the fifth album from French death metallers Exocrine.
Exocrine have a good reputation around these parts, (see 2018’s Molten Giant and 2020’s Maelstrom), so I’m pleased to say that on new platter The Hybrid Suns the band have done nothing to tarnish this. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The Hybrid Suns mixes fearsome intensity with technical complexity and progressive expression. It does this within a tight 37 minutes, which means that there’s a lot of meaty content packed into these nine songs.
At the core of the music sits a technical and sharp beast, dishing out precisely applied brutality and layered complexity. Exocrine have long mastered this part of their sound, and here it is well-delivered as always. However, the Exocrine of 2022 is a different proposition in some new, key ways.
On The Hybrid Suns Exocrine’s sound has made some further developments that have had great impact on the band’s music. Their progressive side has been expanded, and these new songs now deal as much with emotive content as they do blistering brutality.
There’s much more of an ambitious scope to the music, and this is embedded well within the band’s existing framework, broadening it impressively. Grandiose composition techniques have been employed to craft broad soundscapes. Epic synths, clean backing vocals, expressive riffs, potent melodies, and progressive structuring have all come together to create a collection of tracks that can now conjure up immersive atmosphere and soar to the heavens, as well as brutalise and crush.
Again, I’ll mention that this is all within a tightly packed duration; Exocrine aren’t messing around on The Hybrid Suns. Somehow the band have managed to combine brutality, atmosphere, emotion, hooks, and technical extremity into a lean and mean album that’s as satisfying and enjoyable as it is engaging and well-realised.
If Maelstrom was the sound of an experienced band at the top of their game, then The Hybrid Suns is the sound of that band somehow pushing themselves even further.