Finally, finally, Canadian melodic death metal band Hallows Die has ripened for their sophomore full-length album Masks, releasing it absolutely independently. Twelve years have passed since their debut album World of Ruin, after that was one EP (in 2014), but still, their silence was quite spectacular, so the patient fans now can enjoy this latest opus with broad smiles on their faces.
Hallows Die, currently based in the province of Ontario, after such a meaningful break have returned a bit more mature and open for experiments, though they are still imperturbably familiar with classical Scandinavian melodic death metal. Many years ago this band has gained a decent reputation on mdm scene, and now, revived, they are back to the herd. With fresh ideas and signature traits, Masks is a solid release, full of optimistic hopes and playful adventurous mood.
Of course, mostly this is typical melodic death, harmonious and structurally integral, but the songs are long, so they are stuffed with some interesting details. The brightest moments belong to acoustic softening, almost beyond the metal conception (especially brightly expressed on the compositions “Blue Nine” and self-titled “Masks). With them also come melancholy and some clean voice energy. These acoustic flirtations also hint on bluesy and even country influence, but in a reasonable way. And there’s also classical piano to demonstrate their love for diversity and mood plays. A little bit groovy “Nameless” opposes the folky side of “When Gods create Monsters”, but everything out of mdm is placed in the background.
Yes, there’s no need to replace them into the category of experimental music, they know how to stay sane on death metal scene. And even if here and there can be heard some kind of melancholic sadness, these moments are so rare and brief, so they can’t destroy this wave of positivity and vital energy. Sometimes the music sounds so light, that it seems like it is close to power metal (“A Serpent in Judecca”), but the last long instrumental track “Alla Fine” on the contrary ditches us to traditional death metal, heavy and sturdy.
There’s nothing as good as the team spirit in a metal band, when every musician knows his rightful place and is able to create a single web, united and stitched together, so to emphasize one of the musicians is not even an option. The album’s artwork implicitly reveals the contrast between ancient and contemporary, yes, their music sounds so traditionally smooth, but is welcomed to new trends as well. Truly this comeback wasn’t a disaster at all.
Release date: September 21st, 2021
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