Hyrgal is a French Black Metal trio originally founded back in 2008 where they released their first Split album with the band Kairn. After a brief hiatus the band returned in full force two years ago and has now managed to produce and release their, as of yet, magnum opus: The full-length album Serpentine.
While I will readily admit to never having even heard of this little gem of a band (an even bigger offence considering my great love for this particular sub-genre is one cal call it that), Hyrgal nevertheless delivers exactly the heavily aggressive, unrelenting onslaught of both distorted sounds and melodies that I have come to expect and greatly appreciate from the French.
I am still unable to pin-point exactly what it is that makes albums such as Serpentine sound overly ‘French’ to me and at this juncture, I suppose it matters very little – Instead, I will turn my attention towards the near-wall of sound-like effect tracks such as ”Représailles” uses with great expertise and link to it below as proof of the magnitude of the band (not to mention that it gives me an excellent chance to listen to that fine track once more).
If you, like me, have a penchant for other grand French bands such as Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, Moonreich and Malevolentia, then Hyrgal is yet another to add to that playlist. Sure, they probably do not offer anything that these other bands do not, but they still manage to live up to the same high standard and strong attention to detail that their kinsmen do.
There is only one lament that I have as to this record, and that is the fact that I, sadly, do not understand a single word of the lyrics, since they are delivered in their Native French. That aside however, Google Translate can help me (and any of you who are interested as well) to get the gist of the themes. Musically, the chosen language and melodious approach of the instruments work together very well, creating a cohesive whole so tightly knit that I for one cannot help but listen to the album from start to finish.
Serpentine consists of four tracks, one instrumental introduction and an interlude, spanning almost thirty-seven minutes.