Hacride: Back To Where You've Never Been

Progressive French crew go overboard on the polish

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The French prog-death outfit’s first album in four years sees them in melodic territory, and it very nearly works beautifully. The jazzy rhythms are designed to provoke movement while the melody provides depth and texture, but it can’t quite impact as it should.

The guitars lack bite and sufficient weight to keep your head bobbing after the initial blast, mainly due to a polished production that makes the riffs slide past rather than grabbing you and hauling you along. The vocals switch between harsh and sung and don’t carry enough viciousness to really shock, nor sufficient melodic strength to hook you in.

The result is perfectly pleasant, but leaves few marks on your memory. Back To Where You’ve Never Been has flashes where it threatens to genuinely shine, but it’s not quite fiery or bright enough to achieve it. Still, if you’re bored of the last Gojira record and miss Opeth’s heavier sound, you might enjoy this.