Dmitry Kostitsyn – vocals
Lyris Hung – electric violin
Evil Jon – guitar
Sam Roon – bass
Kenny Grohowski – drums
review by Shannah Tighe
Hung isn’t the cookie cutter metal band that fans have recently grown accustomed to over the past few years. Their self-titled debut, out May 8th, 2012 courtesy of The End Records is a vicious and punishing sonic attack, anchored by an electric violin and 7-string guitar. Hung’s sound is laced with aggressive, groove-laden riffs that is setting the new standard for what metal should be.
Reinforced with brutal vocal melodies, incredulous bass work and intricate rhythm patterns, Hung is comprised of some of New York City’s most talented musicians that have subsequently become a staple in the underground music scene. The band features electric violinist Lyris Hung formerly of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Hung is gearing up for an east coast tour and is set to take on the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival as a main stage act this year.
When I first heard that the violinist of HUNG was an ex member of the Transiberian Orchestra, I immediately got super excited. After hearing the Transiberian Orchestra in the past, I kinda already figured that this was going to be a super talented band. It’s not everyday that there is a violinist in a death metal band. But that’s not all that made this band talented. If you’re into bands like Dimmu Borgir and With Faith and Flames, then you should definitely give HUNGs debut album a listen.
2. Desert Of Sad
5. Left For The New Life
6. Evil Tsar
8. Infernal Redeemer
9. Matter Of The Blood
10. Sediment Of War
Judging by the intro song, Eos, you wouldn’t think that this is a metal band/album. 2 minutes and 44 seconds of nothing but acoustic guitars with the swelling of violins. I don’t think I’ve listened to an album with an intro song this long that didn’t have vocals. Definitely not a bad choice on their part, it’s a gorgeous song and definitely drew me in and left me curious to listen to the rest of the album.
Judging by the name of the next song, you’d probably think that this is a slow ballad. But it is in fact the opposite. The death metal vocals of Dmitry Kostitsyn in Desert of Sad flow extremely well with the fast paced drumming, guitar solos and the hint of violin throughout.
Now their next song, Progeny is a bit lengthy. A whole epic 9 minutes and 19 seconds that starts out with a 30 second guitar and violin solo topped off by some kick ass growls. Just when you think the song is over, a violin solo takes over with light drumming and hint of bass and guitar that doesn’t overpower the electric violin. It sounds beautiful and you just don’t want to turn it off. I usually dread longer songs because they get old, but this band knows how to keep your attention.
In my opinion, their fourth song Maria has the catchiest vocals off of the album. But their fifth song Evil Tsar has to be my favorite so far. I’m in love with the tone and epicness of Dmitry’s vocals at the beginning followed by the wicked fast paced guitars and drumming. It’s not too long and it’s not too short.
With Left For The New Life, it’s another lengthy song they slow things down a bit. In this case it’s not a bad thing. Their slow intro gives a lot of emotion with two guitars and very light drumming. This is the first song on the album that showcases Dmitry’s clean vocals. You can hear a bit of his accent in his singing which sounds really cool. The electric violin starts to pick up as well as Dmitry’s unexpected growling and the song continues as a fast death metal ballad for the next 9 minutes. I’m really enjoying the drumming in this song, too.
Inertia is a short intermission song which bums me out because it’s really damn good. It starts out with the electric violin and acoustic making a beautiful duet. No vocals in this one, but hey, no complaints here.
Can I just say that Infernal Redeemer starts out with some awesome bass lines and drumming. It doesn’t sound like the band at first or like it should be on the album but later in the song they redeem themselves. Dmitry’s vocals seem a bit out of place during parts of the song and his growls later in the song make it a bit sound a bit choppy. If you’re into the slow turned semi-chaotic kind of song, then this (as well as a couple of others from this album) are the kind of songs for you; just not my cup of tea.
Matter of Blood starts out slow again and more clean vocals but towards the end of the song, they pick it up but it’s not as fast and chaotic as some of their previous songs. You almost don’t notice the violin in this song even though it’s right in front of your face but it blends so perfectly with everything else. It kind of makes you think that every death metal band should have some violin; just seems natural. It’s the second to last song on the album and you can tell because they start to bring you down carefully from their previous intense songs.
Their last song on the album, Sediment of War does the same. It starts out slow with every instrument playing but then quickens up a bit faster than some of their other songs have. The ending of this song gets a bit intense and kind of leaves you hanging waiting for the next song but you’re thinking, “Shit. That’s the end!’
All in all, this band is way talented. It’s a really well done debut album and the violinist doesn’t seem out of place one bit. As mentioned, some songs can be a bit choppy and I prefer catchier songs but I definitely have to give credit where credit is due.