Comprised of a 50-50 split of musicians from Hell Fire and Haunt, it only makes sense for Hysteria’s fourth album, Night Closing In to sound like a meld of those two projects’ classic metal approaches. It leans more to the Hell Fire side in terms of musicianship as the riffing style shows similar thrash and power metal tinges, and the vocals are delivered in a gravelly baritone. The production also has some similar muscle and grit behind it.
However, Hysteria’s songwriting on Night Closing In is more melodic than anything that Hell Fire has ever released. The structures are as snappy as the three to four-minute lengths would suggest, and just about every track has a catchy, uplifting hook. It’s easy to assume that recruitments of Trevor William Church for bass duties and guitarist John Tucker played a hand in the writing process.
This method, in combination with a half-hour total length risks having individual songs run together, but there is a fair amount of variety to work with. The opening “Graveyard” starts things off with what is the album’s best chorus that is followed up with punchy gang shouts on “Prophets of the Void.” I can also appreciate the mini-epic flavor of songs like “Death Consumes” and the closing “Soldiers of Tribulation,” as well as the more overt power metal flavor of “Look Alive.”
Part of me wonders how Night Closing In would’ve turned out if some of the songs were a minute or two longer, but it manages to be a fun heavy metal offering. Hysteria certainly makes the most of the musicians involved as Haunt’s melodic tendencies are well integrated with Hell Fire’s gritty attitude. Fans of both bands, along with others such as Traveler and Pharaoh, should find this to be an enjoyable sum of its parts.
“Soldiers of Tribulation”