Written by Astral Slaughter
- Black Metal, Hardcore Punk
- January 6th, 2019
- Knekelput Records
I was first introduced to Hastio a few days ago by a close friend who runs an underground tape trading network, I know right? Sounds like some fight club style shit, but I digress, lets not lose focus here. Since my 1st listen to their self-titled album these guys have been stuck on repeat. Some of my favorite tracks on their self-titled album include “Yog Sothoth (El señor de la galaxia)” and “Isengard.” When I was considering how to start this review I thought to myself I need to point out the very obvious hardcore punk influences you can hear throughout the album.
This band knows what is up!
Hastio starts off their self-titled album with the song “Combate” which at first has strong leanings towards the hardcore punk scene I mentioned above. If I were to compare the first few bars of this song to anything, I’d say initially it sounds like the Golers. Then something happens…it mutates into this awesome black metal riff. It hooks you quick, getting you head banging, and then its over, in and out like a freaking hit squad. Then, like a strung out junkie, you go looking for more, and more, and then the album is over, and its time to chase that dragon all over again.
All joking aside, Hastio tunes are a quick run, which is another nod to the punk scene. They Keep it short and the listener wanting more. The longest song on this self titled album (which is also one of my favourites) is “Yog Sothoth” which by far is the best melding of both punk and black metal. The sound is unique and at the same time so familiar, as someone who thoroughly enjoys both black metal and hardcore punk I am beyond impressed with Hastio’s style. This is truly excellent musicianship.
The vocals for the album take the traditional black metal route, with the use of well placed shrieks and haunting rawness of the 2nd wave placed over top interesting choices musically, such as the raw black metal vocals over very punk sounding basslines in “Los ojos eternos.” This choice could easily fail, but Hastio makes it work, seemingly effortlessly. While melodic and trve black metal guitars are prevalent in this album, I think it’s the drums that truly stand out, the drums on this album do a great job of punctuating riffs and adding that punk flavor to this excellent sound Hastio has built. Pair that with the bass lines that flip between that hardcore punk bomp and the atmospheric on the edge of a straight razor. Listening to this album I was amazed at how they seemed to jam so much into such short songs, Hastio pulls no punches and gets right into the raw, where a lot of other acts will put a 2 minute intro in front of the business end of their music, Hastio opts to hammer down full throttle and go for the throat from the get go to the very end.
If you’re looking to find something to get excited about in the black metal world, this should do it. Hastio brings something new to the black circle with the punk influences they infuse into the music. There is some excellent use of synth on this album as well. It’s not overbearing, I found it properly placed just to highlight parts of the song.
The label knekelput says “keeping the candles of the underground lit” on their Bandcamp. Hey…this particular candle is a fuckin’ inferno! I really have nothing negative to say about this release. I hope this review sets in motion a set of actions on the part of the reader. #1 being you listen to this awesome album as soon as possible.