HUNG, the next big thing in UK's progressive/djent scene
When writing a review i like to put myself in the shoes of the reader.
What do i want from this review?
Well… I want to know WHY i should listen to this album and whether or not i’ll like it. Or perhaps I’ve already heard this album and want to hear someone else's opinion on the matter.
Either way… If you’re a fan of progressive metal/djent music and want something that completely changes the genre, redefining its core-meaning, then read on.
Hung are a two-man project/band from Worcester, UK.
The band consists of Freddy Saunders (Guitar/Bass) and Barnaby Oakley (Vocals/Guitar).
Last year they released their first official album entitled “HUNG” and gained quite a bit of attention from the metal community, pulling in over 10,000 downloads.
This august they released a new album called Djurassic Word and oh boy oh boy did they outdo themselves.
This album is a MUST HAVE if you enjoy music that is definable as “inspiring”. Even people who don’t enjoy djent seem to jam to HUNG and i can see why!
The album starts off with an electronic, almost pop-synth vibe which quickly jumps into a meaty breakdown and solo.
This diverse genre-fusion is a HUGE part of Djurassic Word. Genres such as Rap, Electronic, Classical and Jazz are all incorporated cleverly and enhance the listening experience tenfold, taking HUNG away from the “technical djent band” stereotype and pulling you into the distinctive sound they’ve made their own.
This is a 14 track album, so an in depth review of each track would take ages, hell even an in depth review of ONE track would take ages, so instead of firing a barrage of words at you i’m going to tell you my personal favorite stand outs.
One Shrute Buck (Feat. Jake Lowe) - This track features one of the guitarists from The Helix Nebula, another exceptionally talented group, the diversity of this track really screams at me, starting softly but gradually getting heavier and then returning to a softer vibe at the end.
Barnaby’s vocals really shine on this track too, reaching incredibly high notes and then deep, gut wrenching low screams. Jake's solo is well structured, pleasing to the ears and fits the track well, something that can be said for all the guest features.
Browbeat - This track merges rap with technical metal and does so incredibly well. Complete with impressive diminished guitar licks and a unique structure, this is a track you NEED to hear!
Carcharodontosaurus - Most of HUNG’s material is pretty, they do utilise heavier stuff but it tends to be in small sections, punching through the prettiness and pulling you into the darkness.
Carcharodontosaurus however, is NOT one of those songs. This song is pure brutality, a token heavy song on a record filled with technical beauty (akin to Polyphia). But it works, it still has that “HUNG-Sound” to it but freshens up the album for fans of heavier music, great choice picking Andrew Patterson as a feature too, he fits the song perfectly and shines on this tech-death track.
There are so many other awesome moments to list from this album.
Whether its the slap guitar in Mr Mcgroover, the elevator jazz music at the start of The Elevator, the goosebumps-initiating crescendo at the end of Focus Extinction or the ridiculously technical guitar work of Freddy Saunders.
This album is excellent.
The guitars are so clean it almost feels like a robot played it, very precise with a lovely tone. The mix of clean vocals and growls work really well, unlike other bands i feel HUNG used clean vocals as a compulsory thing rather than making it all heavy.
Drums? Sound real for the most part but are in fact programmed. They aren’t too prominent in the mix but are still audible, i feel like if this band were to get a drummer he would have to have 4 arms haha!
Bass, groovy! Lots of slaps and hits, there are some awesome parts of the record in which the bass punches through or the music pauses for a moment and the bass goes solo, its really tidy!
There’s a ton of synth work on this album ranging from classical instruments to retro game boy sounds, another incredibly unique aspect of Djurassic Word.
Vocals, as i mentioned earlier Barnaby’s vocal range is very impressive, there’s a good balance of singing and screaming but overall the majority of the vocals are clean, which brings more attention to the screamed sections.
There’s quite a bit of compression on the record, which is probably due to the dips in volume from lighter sections, but other than that the production is exquisite.
It’s even more impressive to think Djurassic Word was written by TWO PEOPLE. Yes you heard… All this incredible hard work was done in the space of 6 months by two guys in a home-studio.
It’s very clear how much effort goes into making the songs flow, whilst retaining the technical roots and merging genres.
HUNG have confirmed that they will be doing live shows at some point but would prefer to build a larger fanbase before doing so. Both Barnaby and Freddy are experienced with live music having been in bands together previously.
For any of you who want a physical copy… I’d hurry up! At the time of writing this the band only has 5 copies left, they did have T-shirts but have now sold out.
The band used Indiegogo to fund their album release and pulled in an impressive £2000 worth of pre-orders, this is where future shirts/digipaks will be available so keep an eye on their Facebook page!
HUNG stand out from those all those thousands of djent bands repeating the same formula, It’s incredibly unique, diverse, intricate and from what the band have told me… It’s only the beginning.
Keep your eyes peeled, these guys will be the next big trend in djent.
8/10 (Gotta leave 2 points open for the next album )
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