-- Hostilian --
Review written by Glenn “Terra Shredder” Van Bockstaele.
Hostilian is an Indian groove metal band formed in April 2016. “Catalyst” is the band’s second EP and like its predecessor “Monolith” from 2017 this EP is once again published independently and we received it through our Indian friends from Proximity Music Management. The “Catalyst” EP features 4 tracks for about 23 minutes of playtime.
The EP begins with “Legion,” after a menacing 1-minute ambient intro the band goes for a classic 90s groove metal sound with many sudden tempo changes, spicy bass lines, pounding drums, sharp riffs, solid grunt vocals and a nice touch of progressive metal, all on display in this 6-minute opener. Up next is “Inertia,” a slower and more progressive oriented track with its catchy and badass main riff functioning as this song’s main attraction. Then comes “Subservient,” a song that brings things back up to speed with bigger emphasis on the groove metal as well as having a great lengthy guitar solo. And finally there’s “Regressive Instincts,” the heaviest, most diverse and in my opinion best track on the album. More varied vocals, tempos and melodies, a short dark ambient middle section, another sweet guitar solo and a solid ending.
Although this EP has a consistent quality I do feel there’s plenty of room for expansion and improvement. The 4 songs are all enjoyable but they posses little individuality on their own with the exception of the final track. The main riffs sound too similar to one another and the songs could be much more varied. In addition, Sagar doesn’t always utilize his full vocal range and both Rochan and Ven have some great guitar shredding skills that, like Sagar’s vocals, aren’t used to their full potential here. That being said, Hostilian’s second EP is a nice release for those looking for some old-school groove with a nice experimental edge. And with time and feedback, I believe they’ll be bringing their full arsenal to the table in their future releases, just like they do in the “Regressive Instincts” song here below.