Progeny Review on MetalRage.com
I’ve often been complaining about the metal scene nowadays ‘cause I’m a lover of classics. Maiden, Dio, Sabbath, TNT, W.A.S.P., you name it. I have the nasty tendency to compare newcomer bands to the (sometimes legendary) songs and sound of aforementioned acts, which – to some readers – can be quite annoying. But whatever grumpiness befalls me at times, now isn’t the moment to talk about that. Because a I got struck by a bright light. Progeny, the second album of the New York-based progressive death metal band Hung (insert penis joke here), has left me quite impressed.
The title song, 'Progeny', starts off a bit melancholic. At first, it’s puzzling. There’s clearly some death/black metal there. There’s also some heavy riffing going on… but what’s causing the melancholy? A second glance at the biography clarifies all, it’s a violin! Which brings me straight to the power of Hung, namely the ability to blend guitars and violin into a powerful brew of melodic, progressive and aggressive metal. The vocals vary from an incredibly clear, yet flesh ripping black metal scream to a grunt that comes from the deepest chasms of the earth itself to a clean voice… which actually sounds okay with the music.
The guitars don’t dominate all the time, which seemed a bit odd at first, but makes a lot of sense when you think about it. The bass guitar has a distinct clear sound, which enables it to stand out at times and the violin is a dominant factor in Hung’s music. This is not just guitar smashing metal, this is really a successful artistic attempt to make heavy music more interesting.
Furthermore, the production is superb, The lyrical content is sure to appeal to a lot of philosophic death metal fans and the arrangements are just really good. For the sake of a small minus, I’d like to note that time is needed to be able to enjoy the full extent of Hung. Not only because the song structures are quite complicated, but because some songs last for a while, as well. This makes the record less enjoyable for music lovers who seek explosive, destructive death metal.
What can I say, some newcomers become famous within a day, last for 20 years and still haven’t put out anything worth mentioning on the market. Hung has already made its mark in music history; I anxiously await whatever this promising band has in store for us.
HUNG is a melodic/progressive death metal band based in New York City that transcends even its own musical definitions. Right off the bat, with its unusual line-up of electric violin and guitar switching off on leads, HUNG challenges the norm. Their music, epic in scope, moves fluently between brutal, aggressive riffs to eerily beautiful melodies to daredevil, virtuosic passages, all while maintaining its own distinct and cohesive sound.
Lyris Hung, the electric violinist, founded the band with guitarist Evil Jon and bassist Sam Roon, the two of whom had worked together previously in Masque of the Red Death. Moscow-born growler Dmitry Kostitsyn takes the frontman position, and Kenny Grohowski is on drums.
Though the members of HUNG share a love of metal, they each come from a wide array of influences, ranging from classical to jazz and rock. They brought these musical experiences together, creating a sound that is at once paying homage to the masters of European death metal and strikingly different. Evil Jon, as the band’s primary songwriter, helps shape HUNG’s sound with a combination of melodic intricacy and technical fireworks.
HUNG has shared the stage with bands such as Full Blown Chaos, God Forbid, Macabre, Soilwork, Darkest Hour, Warblade and others. They have played the Milwaukee Metalfest and regularly tour New England and the NY/NJ/PA tri-state areas. In addition, they continue to actively vitalize the New York metal scene with HUNG Productions, their own event/show production company, and their partner site NYCMetal.com co-founded by bassist Sam Roon. HUNG proudly endorses Coffin Case, Cocaine Energy Drink and Ed Stone Clothing.
HUNG's second album, Progeny, was recorded by Eric Rachel (God Forbid, Symphony X, Black Dahlia Murder) and mastered by the legendary Alan Douches. With five tracks and a running time of almost 35 minutes, Progeny is at once concise in its storytelling and immense and dynamic in its range. From the opening title track, a piece which demonstrates the band's ability to weave intricate melodies and harmonies, to the Desert of Sad and Maria, a pair of dark and driven death metal anthems, to the twistedly militaristic Wishing Scar and the brutally epic finale Sediment of War, HUNG makes its mark on the metal scene – and it is a lasting one.