Combining rap with heavy music is nothing new. Usually the thought of it makes me cringe a bit. It was a big trend in the late 90’s with ‘Nu-Metal’. Thing is, most bands in that genre sucked. But this group is bringing the concept back with enough of a twist and talent to make it interesting.
The UK’s Hackitivist is a breath of fresh air, combining hip-hop and metal in a way that’s never been done. This group has potential to get huge. The musical delivery itself is tight and technical, bringing all the off-time grooves and jagged edged riffs of modern day ‘djent’ while adding other progressive elements. The difference is there are two relatively technical rappers with British accents doing the vocals instead of someone singing or screaming the whole time. It gives the whole band a very underground, fresh sounding vibe.
This EP is actually a lot better than I expected to be. Having heard a few pre-production tracks, I was more impressed by some than others. But all the reworked tracks on this EP are razor tight. There are several break neck, heavy moments to be found on this one. The writing is generally sharp and creative. Even if the band falls into some “djent” stereotypes, they manage to keep things interesting.
It’s always impressive when a band can fit a good bit of substance in a short time. This is exactly the case with the 2 minute EP opener “New Age”. Let’s just say the massive soundscapes and scale of the track make it feel much longer. Great way to start things off. “Unlike Us” is likely to be a fan favorite as it sets the beginning of change with it’s crushing rhythms and an awesome music video. Be sure to check it out above. “Blades” stands out on the EP because it’s one of the two tracks that features singing vocals. It adds a lot to this track. “Hacktivist” must be the band’s theme song. It’s also the first thing I ever heard from these guys. I was quickly impressed, but the song has progressed a lot since then. “Cold Shoulders” is another track that’s been out for awhile. It has a great groove to it. Definitely a good way to close the release.
While the “Hacktivist” EP is generally a great effort, it does have some minor flaws. For example, some riffs may sound similar even if they aren’t with closer examination. This isn’t a big problem though as most of the EP flows well. The rappers also flow well, but objectively some people probably won’t appreciate it. The experience is shortlived, but they actually do manage to pack a lot of content into the 19 minutes.
If the concept of hip-hop and metal joining forces doesn’t scare you off, you should defintiely give the “Hackivist” EP a listen or three. Overall, this is a great debut EP for a band with a good chance of getting big. This djent-rap move has a chance of starting a movement. Guess we’ll see. In the mean time enjoy the tracks and go buy the EP today if you dig it!