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The Shiva Hypothesis
Promo 2015

Hailing from the Netherlands, The Shiva Hypothesis offer up a vicious serving of blackened death metal in this self-titled three track EP simply referred to as Promo 2015. Before I delve into a little more detail on the tracks themselves, I can happily say that TSH has created an interesting soundscape throughout this short but intriguing release.

Track one, “Caduceus” conveys an atmosphere of utter dread with its dramatic chord progressions and passionately tortured vocal execution. I found that this song flowed quite nicely, and that there was an abundance of instrumental melody amongst the chaos. They achieved the effect they were striving for and I found this track quite compelling.

The second track, “Praedormitium” kicks off with an eerie effect over the vocals as they repeat the song title, stretching it out nicely. The effects on the vocals continue for the duration of this track, sounding at times like a dalek! The punchy and driving staccato of the guitar and drums conjure up the image of marching army of demons from some primordial netherworld. Both this track and the first one clock in at close to six minutes, yet they fly by in a flurry of grinding rage.

"Maze Of Delusion” is the final track and it’s a long one at 9 minutes. It eases the listener in with a simple yet effective thrash riff before the various parts and tempo changes collapse midway into cacophony. Slowly it emerges with rolling broken bass chords (in the way that Iron Maiden first popularized this transition in “Rhyme Of The Ancient Sea Mariner”). Though admittedly I’m not a fan of the long intervals of black metal strumming, this song, for the most part, holds my attention. The vocals again have what sounds like a similar effect on them from the previous track, and it does give TSH a somewhat otherworldly (netherwordly?) vibe.

The Shiva Hypothesis
Promo 2015
(Self released)
Written by: Richard Leggatt
8 out of 10

What I find very interesting and effective in the composition and structuring of their music, is the layering of parts. I frequently hear background melodies so faint they are almost subliminal. This adds a welcomed sense of color to what could very easily be a drab form of music, and I think that when it comes to writing and performing extreme metal, this is a very important lesson to remember.

Admittedly I’m not as up-to-date on this particular subgenre of metal as I used to be, so I can’t comment on whether or not TSH’s sound could be considered groundbreaking. But I know enough to say that they are consistently interesting and certainly worthy of your attention if you are a fan of black, death or even thrash metal.

Richard Leggatt, HMS

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