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The Browning: Hypernova

Exhilarating rave-metal without the gimmicks

With established metal bands introducing more and more dance and electronic elements into their sounds, it’s no longer a surprise to hear metal bands employing it as much as heavy guitars and breakdowns. While Crossfaith and their ilk have gone down the party-rave route, The Browning’s second album adds the blaring samples and synth tinkling over a far heavier, darker metalcore template.

With almost an entirely new lineup since 2011’s Burn This World, frontman John McBee takes centre stage, his pounding beats blending seamlessly with the harsh vocals on the likes of Gravedigger and Planet Hate. Though there are some sizeable riffs and pulverising drums the metallic input is fairly monotonous and the barked lyrics are only once broken up by subtle clean vocals.

The album relies instead on the variations of the electronics, and it’s the fuzzy histrionics of Save The World and the dramatic, eerie organs of Fearplex that add a serious approach to an often-maligned addition to metal’s rich tapestry. Despite the daft title, Hypernova is a mightily impressive effort that can hold its own against any of the trad brigade.