2023 celebrates the rise of Haliphron.
Announced in 2021 in the Netherlands by Marloes Voskuil (vocals, ex-Izegrim), Ramon Ploeg (guitar, Bleeding Gods, ex-Debauchery), Jessica Otten (bass, Bleeding Gods, Dictated, live for Asagraum and Gaerea), Jeroen Wechgelaer (guitar, ex-Izegrim), David Gutierrez Rojas (keyboards/vocals, Bleeding Gods, ex-Kingfisher Sky) and Frank Schilperoort (drums, God Dethroned, ex-Grand Supreme Blood Court, ex-Shining), the band signed with Listenable Records for the release of Prey, their first album.
The album starts with Let the World Burn, an apocalyptic orchestral introduction which will eventually be joined by the guitars before letting The Killing Spree spread its rage between Thrash, Death and Black Metal. All the band’s influences, completed by expressive screams, easily crush us, creating a real tidal wave of raw and catchy strength, reinforced at times by the majestic keyboards, served with an as heavy as clear mix, which serves as well the aggressive rhythmic as this disturbing part before leads guide us to Mother of All Evil which will continue to feed the darkness. Orchestrations are skillfully blended with a massive rhythm, creating an oppressive atmosphere on which the violence crashes before letting Perfect Existence’s cold groove lead us to sounds driven by the heady and very present orchestrations. Riffs follow this intense rhythm, punctuated by a few pauses where whispers come to haunt us, followed by piercing leads, then the charge continues until Prey, the eponymous track, which develops a melodious melancholy before letting the rhythmic crush us again. We feel a rather Old School approach in this mix of majestic fury and heavy darkness, confirmed by the devastating screams, letting some haunting sounds appear before Human Inferno resumes with a more aggressive approach. Everything in this track is heavier, thicker and more brutal, whether it is on screams or the jerky riffs, and although the first notes of The Resistance are slightly more modern, we will quickly find an impressive and crushing sound. We especially notice this break where vocal parts become more devastating than ever, before giving way to effective riffs again, allowing Schizophrenia, the bonus track, to reveal disturbing melodies followed by motivating riffs. We will also have some control by striking keyboards, and the band will only allow us to breathe again when this softer break is revealed, before continuing until Unidentified Mass, the last track, which will once again allow keyboards to lead the charge to bury us under this block of imposing and heavy sounds.
Haliphron‘s multiple influences allow them to create an impressive wall of sound coupled with massive screams, letting orchestrations give their compositions an appreciable relief. Prey will fall down and crush you without allowing any respite.