Review: “Via Aetera” by Hurakan
“Via Aeterna starts a new era for Hurakan, and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with all of you after two years of intensive work. We have pushed our boundaries in composition and performance, resulting in a more cohesive, organic and mature music taking the listener through different atmospheres and emotions on a blistering journey. We feel this is our biggest and most successful effort to date, Via Aeterna reflects Hurakan‘s new state of mind, inspired by the mental problems that everyone can unfortunately endure in their lives, but also about existential issues such as death, the aftermath and the anguish it can bring.” ~ Hurakan
After a trio of singles over the past nine months French Brutal Deathcore fuelled Death Metal quartet Hurakan announced that they would be releasing a third album long before any details were known, providing the kind of foretelling that something wicked this way comes that Soothsayers would in ancient times. Adorned by cover stunning cover artwork painted by Adum Burke of Nightjar Art, known for his previous work with Fit For an Autopsy and To The Grave to name but a few, the album was written and recorded by vocalist Danny Louzon, guitarist Maxime Maréchal, bassist Raphaël Darras and drummer Thomas Crémier who later re-amped, mixed and mastered it at SoundBlast Studios with full orchestration provided by Philippe Parickmiler.
“Imperium” is a fitting title for the vicious opening cut that sets the Symphonic Deathcore standard for “Via Aetera” with some tasty brutal breakdowns and a couple of throat shredding Slam roars before a monumental cut glass extended downtempo breakdown section that simply decimates the weak and crushes all those who oppose. It’s a powerhouse statement piece, a statement of intent inked in blood and signed off by Kyle Anderson of Brand of Sacrifice whose part embellishes the darkness with the sparkle of gold dust. The tension filled atmospheric then continues down the dark path, getting heavier, denser and more intense with the black hole that is “Void” as Crémier shows off his blasting abilities and reigns down terror upon the ear drums before “Abyssal” brings more groove with layers of tight staccato riff breaks building the punishment. It’s neo classical Deathcore for a new age with the symphonics well crafted and yet not overpowering the guitar work thanks to the quality of the mixing, the sinister atmospherics knitting it all together into a single entity. The call to a circle pit comes from “Asmodeus” with a whirlwind of percussive battery that sees Louzon take on the role of a demonic beast bringing famine and pestilence to his enemies with intricate lead guitars buried in the mix adding warmth and texture while also meaning that the record doesn’t have a soft underbelly in the mid section, as no stone has been left unturned in pursuit of divine Symphonic Deathcore perfection.
As with a number of the tracks “Vagrant” has an almost ethereal quality thanks to those Symphonic elements and you can just picture Louzon transforming from a Priest to a Beast before a congregation of cloaked worshippers during a candle lit Black Mass with the band playing out the cut to provide the brutal soundscape, those touches lift everything as the band follow the left hand path of bands like Shadow Of Intent and Lorna Shore. What really makes “Via Aeterna” however is the intricacies like the DJent moment in the middle of “Resurgence” before the icy keys send a chill down the spine and break into something that one can only describe as sounding like the soundtrack to immolation. Then you have the magnificent curb stomp appeal of the bone shattering “Umbra” providing the knock out blow during an already heavy hitting album but just when you think that Hurakan may have let it run its course and run out of ideas, they produce the album title track, an instrumental of mournful dark cinematic beauty that is as stunning as they come. A beast of a record which has everything you could possibly want and more to offer, “Via Aerera” is nothing short of a searing hot scorcher [8.5/10]
1. Imperium (feat. Kyle Anderson of Brand of Sacrifice)
3. Abyssal (feat. Filip Danielsson from Humanity’s Last Breath & In Reverence)
9. Via Aeterna (feat. Raphaël Verguin from Psygnosis, Spectrale & Rïcïnn)
“Via Aetera” by Hurakan is out 15th April 2022 via Lacerated Enemy Records