Cyhra, which can be considered as a “superband”, formed in 2016. Next year, 2017 their debut album Letters To Myself was released and now, two years later their sophomore work No Halos In Hell saw the light of the day too.
Regarding the “superband” it’s abundantly clear if you’ll take a look on the band’s line-up: Alex Landeburg (Kamelot, ex-Annihilator) – drums, Euge Valovirta (ex-Shining) – guitar, Jake E (ex-Amaranthe) – vocal and Jesper Strömblad (ex-In Flames) – guitar. But if you thought that Cyhra will play something like “The Jester Race part II” when you read the last name and haven’t heard the band’s previous album, then I have some bad news for you: Cyhra is a Modern Metal band with all pros and contras of the genre.
“When I was writing, I sat down and thought about what worked and what didn’t work on the first album. What I was focusing on the most for No Halos In Hell was making the songs more live oriented, and I think that live ‘friendliness’ of the songs also brings the catchiness up to another level. I was constantly thinking about hook lines that should stick in your head.” says Jake E about the album. Well, there isn’t any word that is not true: No Halos In Hell became really melodic thing with lots of catchy moments. The catchiest songs probably are “I Am The One” and “Hit Me” with a little trite choruses, but it doesn’t interfere them to dwell in your head for a long time and brake the “repeat” button from hitting it too much.
Of course, there are lots of keyboards and electronic sounds in the album; it’s Modern Metal, so it’s just need to be there, according to the genre. At the same time there are some really good riffs and technical, fast solos, thought. Alex Landeburg’s work here is off the charts also. And if we’re talking about Jesper Strömblad, it’s quite easy to hear him in, let’s say “I Had Your Back”, which slightly reminds his In Flames years.
I think, the sound in the album also deserve a couple of words. The album produced by Jacob Hansen and this man did his job great: No Halos In Hell sounds like Metal and not like some poppy band with guitars. The sound is quite low, very dense but there is a place for all instruments.
Of course there were some angry shouts and blaming: “They sell out!”, “They purposely make the music radio friendly”, “It’s just a poppy music with some guitars” and all the shit. Well, I’d write this review with exactly the same slogans if there weren’t three bribing factors: the sound, the catchiness and sincere, for god’s sake. You really believe to Jake E when he sings. I think it’s impossible to sing “Battle From Within”, dedicated to his late brother another way or the simple but sincere ballad “Lost In Time”. It should be done only that way or not done at all. Cyhra did it right.
No Halos In Hell was released on November, 15 via Nuclear Blast.