Maitreya – Hyper Reels
Release Date: 25/06/2021
Running Time: 48:55
Review by Beth Jones
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – there is some damn fine music coming out of Canada at the moment, and much of it leans on the Progressive side of things, which pleases me a lot. Today’s subject band are a Progressive Metalcore band from Oshawa, Canada, and their recent release, “Hyper Reels”.
The band started back in 2011, as an instrumental project, but didn’t kick into life as Maitreya until 2016, and this release is their sophomore album. And a pretty damn fine album it is too.
It blends melody with noise, synth with pure dirty riffs, harsh and clean vocals, and frantic rhythms, to create an exciting listening experience. According to their track-by-track breakdown, this album is ‘a collection of dialogues exploring parallels between human consciousness and technological advancement. The music peaks and valleys to the polarities of turbulent and serene emotions of the human psyche.’ And there are certainly a lot of polar opposites explored here.
The opening track, ‘Catalyst’ begins with a catchy, melody driven synth section that you can imagine playing out in a Trace/Ambience club. But that soon gives way to some almost 90’s grunge riffs, then full on metalcore with guttural vocals, before reintroducing the ambience into the mix, alongside some technical progressive sounds and rhythms. What a great way to start an album. Hellishly groovy and exploratory.
From here, the album gets progressively more Progressive, and Technical, revealing the true Metalcore that really drives Maitreya’s sound. The tone of some of the guitar sections are also pretty Industrial sounding, which I think as yet another dimension to the sound. It’s chaotic and frenetic, and sometimes feels like the wheels are going to come off, but it always resolves into something perfect, dramatic, and huge. A great example of this on the track ‘Summit’, which works its way through multiple sections, to create something that’s perfectly balanced on the edge of catastrophe! It’s like that fine line between genius and madness.
Track 5, ‘Invaders’ has to be one of my favourites on the album. It begins with 8-bit style video game music, before smashing you in the face with screams and thumping rhythms and giving way to a sweeping melodic section. Matt Curtrara’s vocals are really put to the test in this song. But he’s clearly up to the challenge, because his clean vocals are strong and crisp, and his dirty vocals range from Low, guttural growls, to blood-curdling screams. That being said, every musician in this band is hugely talented. Everything is so complex and technical, and simply wouldn’t work without the level of skill that these guys have clearly got.
This is an album that builds and builds, to an almost impossible to comprehend level of sound, and contrasting elements, with a few notable ebbs, ‘Pilgrim’ being an example of this. While it’s still heavy, and technical, it’s not quite as chaos driven as the previous tracks, providing an intermission of sorts, before we’re launched back into the beautiful cacophony of ‘Flesh Engine’, on our journey towards the end of the album.
This is a very bold album, which challenges the listening brain with its complexities, in so many ways. If you like Technical Progressive Metalcore, you are going to very much enjoy Maitreya.
‘Summit’ (Official Video)
08. Flesh Engine
09. Hyper Reels
Matt McCabe – Guitar
Steve McMillan – Drums
Matt Cutrara – Vocals
Lyam Morrison – Bass
Mark Wylie – Guitar
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