Artist: Hideous Divinity
Album Title: LV-426
Label: Century Media Records
Date of Release: 23 April 2021
If ever there was a way for a band to ingratiate themselves with me, it would not be to create an EP based on the ‘Alien’ films. I watched these at university with mates who assured me that these films were some of the best ever. To say I was disappointed is a gross understatement. I distinctly remember getting to the end of the first film and thinking ‘is that it?’ I watched them all, just to say that I had done so, but to this day, I have never bothered to return. I realise I’m likely to receive a lot of flak from many of you all, but I’m nothing if not honest. To a fault, sometimes.
Anyway, moving on, ‘LV-426’ is a three-track EP from Italian technical death metal band Hideous Divinity and, as you may have guessed, it is based on the ‘Alien’ films. To be more precise, it is actually based around the second film in the trilogy, ‘Aliens’. Having made it perfectly clear that I couldn’t give a flying feather about the subject matter, I am now able to turn my attention to the music itself.
‘LV-426’ may only contain three songs that span sixteen minutes, with one being a cover, but I have no qualms in admitting that brevity does not, in this instance, have any bearing on the intensity of the music. This being my first dalliance with Hideous Divinity, I wasn’t anywhere near well-enough prepared for the music that I’d hear on this EP. It is brutal, technical, dramatic, and punishing in the extreme.
The first track is ‘Acheron, Stream Of Woe’ and it is a near seven-minute behemoth that does its best to bludgeon the listener to death, albeit with a certain amount of finesse and enjoyment. The intro is dark, dramatic, and cinematic as it ought to be given it’s subject matter. The tension builds expertly, only to be released via a thunderous explosion of technical death metal butchery. The riffs are swift, scything affairs, whilst the rhythm section is impossibly tight. ‘Catchy’ is not normally an adjective I’d throw at this kind of music, but despite the claustrophobic intensity of the material, complete with unnerving dissonance, I get dragged into the music, willingly giving in to the malevolent tumult that punishes my ears. However complex the music gets, everything is delivered with absolute precision, whilst there’s a surprising amount of room for the atmosphere to shine through, even if ‘shine’ is again completely the wrong adjective.
The second of two original tracks is ‘Chestburst’, just in case you’ve missed the ‘Aliens’ theme up until this point. It is less of an atmospheric piece and instead just goes for the jugular, with plenty of swift lead guitar flurries, as well as a mix of faster and slower sections to allow the heaviness of the material issue forth in both manners; fast or slow, Hideous Divinity are incredibly extreme-sounding and that’s to their credit. Overall, ‘Chestburst’ is a much more explosive affair, underlined by the fact that it disappears in the blink of an eye.
If I hadn’t been told in the press release that the final track, ‘Delirium Trigger’ was a Coheed And Cambria song, I’d have never believed it. Compared to the previous two original cuts, this song is laced with a lot more pronounced melody, but not being a Coheed fan, that’s the only aspect that gives anything away. The song is very much in the Hideous Divinity vein, with technical prowess to be heard from every corner, and with the brutality and extremity that is their stock in trade.
In closing, regardless of the subject matter chosen on this EP, I’d happily have taken another clutch of songs to expand on the ideas put forth in the opening duo. This is heavy, complex, and extreme music pulled from the top drawer; it’s incredibly heavy and uncompromising, but it’s also incredibly fun and entertaining. I look forward to the next long player with anticipation, whilst attempting to dig out their back catalogue to see what lurks within.
The Score of Much Metal: 88%
You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here: