For Those Who Can't Sleep On Hip Hop

Hacktivist creates music for the “New Age” on their self-titled EP! Review by CyPhEr777

November 9, 2012


In the past 15 years many debates have been sparked concerning the music industry and it’s direction heading into the future. It’s widely known that the radio just doesn’t play good music anymore (on ANY level). Those stations (Hip Hop, Metal, R&B, etc.) have a tendency to oversaturate things and have forced many to seek alternative ways to get what they want. Many have looked to the Internet to get specifically what they want because they are tired of the constant barrage of lack luster music they are being told is good and are now able to hear artists that they most likely would not have known existed otherwise.

The two genres of Heavy Metal and Hip Hop have a deep and solid history that rivals any other genre of music (even though Metal is part of the Rock-n-Roll genre and Hip Hop is still a young genre compared to others), they still have and continue to make major strides in the music industry today. Part of that history is the fact that both genres boast to have the most “sub” genres or “sub” categories known in music. Hip Hop and Metal share many similar attributes so, it’s no wonder that the two would eventually combine and form a bridge for both art styles. One of the other debates that have flooded Metal message boards and social media sites is this new Metal “sub” genre called Djent. Is it a new genre? Is it just a technique? What is Djent and what are its origins? What’s funny about those questions is the fact that since it’s inception, Hip Hop has faced the same scrutiny and still survives today.

Djent (pronounced: “jent” or “gent” as in the word gentleman) also known as Djent metal is a heavy metal movement that developed as a spinoff of progressive metal. Typically, the word is used to refer to music that makes use of this sound, to the sound itself, or to the scene that revolves around it. Some members of the metal community have criticized the term Djent, treating it as a short-lived fad, openly condemning it, or questioning its validity as a genre. I believe it to be a genre in itself but nonetheless; it’s a sick style that encompasses everything I want in music.

I was watching a Fear Factory video on YouTube about 8 months ago, when another video caught my attention on the YT sidebar. I’ve heard about the hacker group named Anonymous and the fact that they called themselves “hactktivists” so, when I saw a link to a video named Hacktivist “Cold Shoulders”, it piqued my interest and I clicked on it. Literally, my jaw unhinged and fell to the ground. I had to get up out of my seat and play air drums and guitar because of how awesome the sound I was hearing emanating from my computer speakers. Then the emcees started spitting and I knew I was witnessing something incredible.

A few weeks ago, I received their 5 track self released and self titled EP but, the ONLY complaint I have with it is that it’s so short. In that short time though, Hacktivist make the most of it, creating a sonic Metal/Hip Hop classic. The EP starts with the intro aptly named “New Age”. Just from that intro, you know they have arrived as a true force musically. The tracks on “Hacktivist” are relentless, starting with a bang and maintaining a high quality throughout. It’s sonically beautiful and the marriage of Metal/Hip Hop is done to perfection. The true opener (second track), “Unlike Us,” is a great opening track, a slow and calculatingly destructive sound that leads into a lyrical assault complete with an extremely heavy drum, guitar and bass tempo shifts that’ll make your head spin. This track could be the centerpiece of most metal albums, but it’s the last song “Cold Shoulders” that gets me open the most and reminds me of a futuristic version of the Public Enemy and Anthrax collabo on “Bring the Noise”. It’s THAT dope!!! The song contains some of the illest, thought provoking lyrics and some memorable guitar riffs in recent memory, followed by supreme percussion. It’s just what metal or generally what music should be.

As far as the band goes, Timfy James and Josh Gurner deliver some truly remarkable guitar and bass riffs, and Rich Hawking is a beast in the percussion department. As lead vocalists/emcees both J Hurley and Ben Marvin are not to be messed with. They each handle the mic like seasoned vets; in fact, after this EP they should be well regarded as some of the best in the business. In my opinion, Hacktivist, as a unit, have no weaknesses. I as well as a mass of Hacktivist fans cannot wait ‘til they release a full-length project. This UK based quintet will keep you in awe of their aggressive socio-political rhetoric and in your face material that should last until something new is released. Be on the lookout for this “New Age” of artists!!! Support Hacktivist by checking them out on Facebook. Bless C73 Eternal

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