ALBUM REVIEW: Hinayana – Shatter and Fall


From the great state of Texas emerges one of the most interesting and promising new Melodic Death Metal acts in the U.S. Hinayana has received high praise for their latest EP which is claimed to be unique and visionary. Now this southern quintet is getting ready to release their sophomore album, Shatter and Fall (Napalm Records) and everyone is curious to see if this budding band continues to blossom. 

The album opens with a Scandinavian vibe on “Slowly Light Collides”. The acoustic guitar and synths instantly create a melancholy feel, a combo commonly used among Northern European groups. The wistfulness of the track builds with a tactful trudge that paints a landscape full of consequential intrigue and robust restlessness. Influence from the Melodeath greats like Insomnium and Dark Tranquility can be heard sprinkled throughout the album’s eleven songs. “Mind is a Shadow” features Aether Realm’s Vincent Jack Jones who provides a higher snarl of sound with his seething vocals similar to that of Mikael Stannce

 There is an appealing energy on numbers like “How Many Dreams”, “Reverse the Code”, and “Lost to Flames”. The guitar work heaves with alluring tones full of creamy finesse and intricate depth. There is a sophisticated rage and dolefulness in the crunch and weight in the delivery. The parts played from the bottom end are highlighted on the heftier pieces because drummer Daniel Vieira knows how to pack a punch. The piercing melodies and sincere severity in the strings create an impulse to sway your head back and forth. “Spirit and Matter” and “Answer” flirt with some black metal elements while Casey Hurd’s gravel-y growls project lyrics about inner struggle. Their shifts between the more atmospheric pieces to these hard-hitting ragers add to their emotional range.

A high spot on the record is the doomier piece “A Tide Unturning” featuring Winter Metal expert, Tuomas Saukkonen. He adds an extra layer of oomph to the song’s thick thoughtfulness. The elegantly gritty strings enhance the frost he brings in his chilling vocals. Such force and aptitude in his deep, vibrant roars complement the band’s dark work. 

The whole album is dynamic and carries an enticing drama. There are heartfelt harmonies that get stuck in your head and their accentuation of fury plus contemplativeness is very engaging. Hinayana is pensive, yet passionate. They deliver songs full of stately torment, contempt, and aloofness, yet they also procure a delicate and gracious reverie. These articulations showcase the band’s overall charisma and growth. It will be exciting to see where they go from here.


Buy the album here. 


8 / 10