Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Hikan - Begotten (2018)

In the city of Curitiba, Brazil there is a one-man band putting out music like black tar bubbling out of a crack in the earth. Hikan (or 悲観) is Japanese for pessimism or disappointment - and that all makes sense when I tell you that the first two albums under the Hikan banner were woeful pieces of depressive black metal. However, the third and most recent release "Begotten" seems to turn over a new leaf (presumably a pot leaf) and transform the sound into a stonerfied force of doomy sludge. Gone are the hammering drums and crestfallen wails, and in their place are evil grooves and harsh, firey shouts - out of the darkness and into the light is a calloused, snarling monster! The first two tracks ("Begotten" and "Dirt") unfold slow and rough as though they are coming to terms with their metamorphosis from black metal to coarse stoner/sludge/doom chimeras and are tenuously clawing their way out of the cocoon to only burn under a hot sun. But with the third and fourth tracks ("Traps" and "Sick") beast is fully formed - a nasty creature massive enough to topple buildings with its swaggering riffs and aggressive attitude. Here you'll hear some scathing rhythms and hoarse vocals that could peel back layers of skin! The EP ends on a cover of Eyehategod's "Anxiety Hangover" that's sharper and more jagged than the original - it feels like someone's threatening you with a rusty knife up against your throat. I'm not sure what prompted the change in Hikan (I mean, presumably some THC) but the results speak for themselves - let this shit wreck you! -Brandon

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