Austin, Texas-based melodic death-doom metal unit Hinayana have been turning heads in the metal scene since their formation in 2014, starting out as a one-man-band spearheaded by frontman Casey Hurd. Now, after releasing their crushing 2018 full-length Order Divine and subsequently securing the attention of Napalm Records, Hinayana were poised to release their new musical offering – the crushing Death Of The Cosmic EP.
Otherworldly and haunting while maintaining a crushing, colossal heaviness and peppered with undeniable groove, the Death Of The Cosmic EP emphasizes improved production and keen songwriting. Primarily self-produced by the band with mixing/drum recording from Kevin Butler and mastering by Swallow The Sun’s Juho Raiha, fans will also notice the new EP’s heightened concept in comparison to the band’s previous releases.
Opening title track “Death Of The Cosmic” sets off with optimistic ambience, quickly blasting into an ethereal universe of blazing leads and acoustic soundscapes capped by vocalist Casey Hurd’s deep, menacing growls. “Cold Conception” rushes in with melancholic energy before transforming into a dark, galloping anthem accented by the Morin Khuur stylings of late Tengger Cavalry mastermind Nature Ganganbaigal and a melting solo from Erik Shtaygrud. Mystic instrumental interlude “Yet Here I Wait Forever” showcases the dynamic, softer side of Hinayana before picking back up with the stunning down-tempo gripper “In Sacred Delusion”, featuring a guest appearance from Toni Toivonen (Hanging Garden). Death Of The Cosmic closes with the sorrowful 5-minute epilogue “Pitch Black Noise” – not only proving Hinayana‘s identifiable auditory trademark of melding tranquility and thunderous intensity, but also underlining the existential depth of their lyrical approach. We had an opportunity to do an interview with the frontman, Casey Hurd.
“During the time period where Hinayana was little more than a solo-project of mine, the two main challenges were the fact that I had no other musicians to really bounce ideas off of or get input from, and the fact that I was limited in my budget for recording, producing. I didn’t know exactly what I was doing at the time with producing and recording, but at least I was determined to write, record, and release something anyway.”
“Shortly after I released the first demo for the band, ‘Endless’, I realized I wanted to take the music to the stage, get a group of like-minded musicians together, and play the songs live. Some of that was due to the encouraging comments and reviews from fans and websites online I saw after putting the first music up on Bandcamp. A little positivity can go a long way in someone’s musical career, something I’ll always keep in mind.”
–How was it working with Juho Raiha?
-Fantastic! It was awesome to be able to work with such an incredible musician who has worked with so many amazing bands, artists. Such a kind and encouraging person too.
“It may seem pretty straight forward or simple, but out where I grew up and everywhere I look all around I see land being purchased, trees cut down, and new structures being built in their place. The EP was sort of inspired by my own bleak outlook on the modern world I see around me in my daily life, as well as my thoughts on the self-destructive path we’re taking, leaving ancient tradition and connections to spirituality behind along with our once held reverence for nature.”
“We’re hoping to be able to tour the next year 2021, hit the stage, play these new songs, and see our fans again. We’re definitely crossing our fingers and hoping for the best. It’s been difficult but I’ve been saying that in times like these it’s important to stay positive and keep a good outlook. Despite the bleak imagery and message of the EP I think it’s important to keep your head up and stay focused.”
-Describe the EP in 5 words!
-Dynamic, epic, emotional, aggressive, and bleak.
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Photo credit: Jackie Schutza
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