This is the first time I’ve heard Hydrogyn in ages, since their ‘Bombshell’ album in fact, I’ll admit that modern metal played the American way is not normally my cup of tea but this one tasted OK.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: The Boiling Point
LABEL: RFL Records
CD INFO: Discogs Info List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Holly Hines Freed – vocals * Jeff Westlake – guitars * Ryan Stepp – guitars * Jacob Freed – bass * Scot Clayton II – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Disappeared * 02 Bats In The Belfry * 03 The Boiling Point * 04 Wickedness * 05 Worthless Love * 06 Sweet Addiction * 07 Tragic * 08 One Way Or Another (Blondie Cover) * 09 Suspicious Minds (Elvis Presley Cover) * 10 Widowmaker * 11 Damaged Goods * 12 Ghost * 13 Mad World (Tears For Fears Cover)
WEBLINKS: Site Link
This American metal band from the bluegrass state of Eastern Kentucky has origins that go back to 2003. The founding members being guitarist Jeff Boggs and husband/wife duo of Jeff and Julie Westlake. We reviewed their second album ‘Bombshell’ which is in our 2006 archives.
Hydrogyn had released a bulk of material between then and now, and they’ve also undergone numerous line-up changes too. Boggs left the band in 2008 while Julie departed in 2015. At one point, ex Megadeth guitarist Jeff Young trialled to be a part of the band back in 2008 but that arrangement fell through. The current lineup is the most recent one, assembled in the last two years or so. OK, let’s give this a listen.
Leading with ‘Disappeared’, Hydrogyn hasn’t reinvented their modern metal style at all. This band delivers as tough as nails as they first did back in the early noughties. ‘Bats In The Belfry’ is an entertaining romp, not quite Ozzy Osbourne but Holly gives a performance that’ll blow the church doors wide open.
Title track ‘The Boiling Point’ contains cool verses before the heat returns to the flame by chorus time. The solo parts were a bit discordant though. ‘Wickedness’ is our first look at the band’s walk on the dark side. Very European in style. ‘Worthless Love’ is the purist power ballad on the album, with elements of light and shade cast throughout. The riffs are thick and wedge-like on ‘Sweet Addiction’, vocals and guitars competing for bragging rights.
Things segue directly into the moody ‘Tragic’. It’s quite a good song but the only problem is it doesn’t get out of second gear in terms of tempo. Not so the case with ‘Widowmaker’, this one is firing at rapid speed, like bullets from a Gatling gun. ‘Damaged Goods’ is the track selected for video, its a dark episode with questionable rap-like vocals but is saved by the chorus – like the proverbial bell. My album highlight goes to ‘Ghost’. It literally is a haunting piece that undulates power and mellow parts in equal parts.
Now, let’s get the monkey off the back. There are three cover tracks given a modern metal makeover. Each makes for a novelty listen, regardless, but it’s not the sort of thing I’d recommend.
The Blondie chestnut ‘One Way Or Another’ is given a punkish rendering, which sounds reasonable considering. Elvis‘s’ ‘Suspicious Minds’ is nothing like the original. The vocal from Holly holds up OK but that lead guitar sounds a bit tortured. I don’t know much about the Tears For Fears cover ‘Mad World’, but it’s a vocal and piano for the first half, before the electric crunch kicks in. This last one is probably the most suitable.
This album has a wide variety of flavours in abundance. Hard-hitting metal like ‘Widowmaker’ to more poignant tracks like ‘Ghost’ and ‘Worthless Love’. It does expose them somewhat because the metal genre is quite wide and varied, and they seem to be covering all their bases in one go.
This is the first time I’ve heard them in ages, since their ‘Bombshell’ album in fact (click the Hydrogyn tag below) so it’s quite good to reacquaint with the band once again. I’ll admit that modern metal played the American way is not normally my cup of tea but this one tasted OK.