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Eryn Non Dae. - "Hydra Lernaia" (Digipak)

Eryn Non Dae. - "Hydra Lernaia" Digipak cover image

"Hydra Lernaia" track listing:

1. When Time Elapses (7:05)
2. Blistering Hate (5:19)
3. Existence Alsee (7:00)
4. The Decline And The Fall (6:10)
5. Lam Tsol Oua (2:33)
6. Through Dark Skies (4:32)
7. Opposites From Within (6:48)
8. Echoes Of Distress (4:37)
9. Pure (11:01)

Reviewed by on June 29, 2009

"Eryn Non Dae has pushed the extreme metal landscape farther toward the incoherent with 'Hydra Lernaia.'"

Eryn Non Dae is an extreme metal band from France that has been touring since 2001 and made their first EP in 2005. They’ve finally gotten around to releasing their first full length album now. The time that was taken to craft this record is evident, but unfortunately “Hydra Lernaia” is a convoluted mess of extreme metal, and musically is both complex and random.

The Hydra is a beast from Greek mythology that had nine heads and would grow two more when one was cut off. Eryn Non Dae made “Hydra Lernaia” with nine songs, each reflecting a different human emotion. This is a good metaphor between album and myth, and the structure lends itself well to the challenging music that comes.

Each song, however, will sound exactly alike to all but the most seasoned of extreme metal listeners. The songs are a jumble of guitar, bass, drums, and vocals, all set to irregular time signatures. The first song on the album, “When Time Elapses,” is just slightly more composed than five guys randomly banging on instruments. There are discernable sections to the song, but most of them are a slight variation on the instrument banging.

Eryn Non Dae continues to push the extreme and experimental musical aspects throughout the album. Most songs are based on some kind of death or black metal, but standard music structures are taken and changed so much that the music doesn’t sound like its original influence much. The band often has each instrument on a different time signature, and the production mixes them all together on the same level, making the mash even messier.

There are some sections of lucidity. These brief sections counter the experimental sections well, featuring things like melody, cohesive rhythm, and a sense of song structure and musicianship. Some breaks are atmospheric soundscapes, while other are more straight forward rock sections. Either way, they are welcome.

The only band member that stands out individually is bassist Mickael Andre. His strong bass lines hold the whole thing together, and are often the only sound lower than middle C. It clearly takes talented musicians to craft this type of music, as the seemingly discordant and random elements are actually precise and meticulously placed; the musicians have the talent to master the music before being able to alter it so radically. But the musical elements are so eclectic and complex that it takes a hardened ear to find the beauty in the morass.

Eryn Non Dae has pushed the extreme metal landscape farther toward the incoherent with “Hydra Lernaia.” Experimentation and willingness to push boundaries are important in any artistic community, as without it the status quo never changes or improves. Unfortunately the pioneers are often cast aside, as their creations are too far from center for general consumption and enjoyment. This is where Eryn Non Dae find themselves. They haven’t created anything that is particularly enjoyable, but they did make it easier for others to come along and improve on what they started.

Highs: The brief melodic sections are both welcome and well done.

Lows: The experimental ideas aren’t good to listen too.

Bottom line: This extreme metal is so far away from normalcy that it is almost unlistenable.

Rated 1.5 out of 5 skulls
1.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)