CYHRA – No Halos In Hell
It was year 2017 when Cyhra, this group of super talented musicians, shook the world or at least my world by releasing their debut album “Letters To Myself“. Of course thanks to social media they were hyped way in advance and I personally have to admit that they got my attention 100%. But at that point still my focus was solely on the line-up which had members from bands like In Flames, Amaranthe, Shining, Rhapsody, Annihilator and Kamelot. Unfortunately these days labels do just about anything to make their artists look good and quite often I at least personally get disappointed cause very few bands can live up to the hype their label builds on them. But with Cyhra all the hype was worth it cause when I started hearing songs from their debut album it just blew me away. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like they re-invented the wheel or anything but god dammit they just work perfectly together. If you want to check my review for Cyhra‘s debut album “Letters To Myself” you can check it here.
Fast forward couple of years to 2019, one bass player less who is still replaced live by “Mr. ASUS” they return, if possible, even stronger! This time I wasn’t going to be caught by surprise and I made sure I got my hands on their new album “No Halos In Hell” as soon as possible so I could check which path they took with their new album. Would it be filled with super catchy songs like their debut album? Well god damn it is but this time it’s so much more than just catchy songs. After listening the album many many times I am convinced that while composing the songs they felt more loose and relaxed and it presents itself with 47 minutes of pure listening pleasure.
The album opener “Out Of My Life” happened to be also their first single release and for a good reason. As much as I dislike to use references it’s sometimes good to use them and with this song the very beginning like first 15 seconds reminded me of Amaranthe but as soon as the song took off it’s vintage Cyhra. And this is very important thing to remember: This song does NOT reflect the whole album at all. Although “Out Of My Life” is a very good song it was also the most obvious choice for the first single cause somehow it’s the easiest yet very melodic.
Next song is the album title song “No Halos In Hell” and again a reference: if I didn’t know better I could swear Jesper made the first 20 seconds of the song sound just like In Flames and probably he did it intentionally. There are so many small nuances inside one song that it’s exciting to find new things even after multiple listens. And even more so if you start paying attention to a single instrument. Again it doesn’t come much as a surprise that I find the talent of drummer Alex Landenburg absolutely astonishing.
“Battle From Within” was actually one of the best lyrical videos I have seen cause the way they approached it was so unique. Instead of having these super graphical fonts bouncing back and forth bla bla bla they had actual people holding signs for the lyrics. Simply genius. “Battle From Within” is written to Jake E.‘s brother Fredrik who was taken from him and his family way too early. Song should give hope to people struggling in their lives and reminds us that we only have this one life and it’s not a long one so each day, each minute should be treasured and nothing taken for granted. You can check the video below
“I Am The One” is vintage Cyhra. Extremely melodic and catchy chorus and somehow it’s songs like these that shows how the band has evolved in few years. Though it’s vintage Cyhra it’s still very fresh. To me it’s an emotion I get when listening these songs. You clearly can hear it’s Cyhra but at the same time it’s new and improved version of it. Let’s call it Cyhra 2.0 shall we?
“Bye Bye Forever“, “Dreams Gone Wrong“, “Kings Tonight“, “Blood Brothers” and “I Had Your Back” are each songs I could write separately too but in a way they are those very safe Cyhra songs with lots of melodies, nice hooks and catchy choruses. So basically everything you love about Cyhra.
“Lost In Time” is the ballad on the album. Question is, is there a particular need for a ballad in an album that is so melodic already? Well after you hear the song you will agree with me that damn straight there is! This song is placed in the middle of the album and it splits it nicely cause it takes you even further with the melodies. These are not necessarily the type of songs one would play live unless you want to share an intimate moment with the crowd and watch some lighters…um…I guess nowadays smartphones lighting the venue.
Last but definately not least come songs “Hit Me” and “Man Of Eternal Rain“. The more I listen this album the more these two songs grow in me. When I heard “Hit Me” first time I didn’t like it but now I simply love it! And the reason I didn’t like that song first was the chorus cause I felt it was weird but then I realized it’s me who is weird and not the chorus. But these two songs represent a faster side of Cyhra which I absolutely adore! When “Man Of Eternal Rain” starts after the short intro I think it’s Cyhra as their heaviest. And it sounds so bloody amazing! Perfect song to end the perfect album.
Cyhra returns stronger than ever with their new album “No Halos In Hell” which contains 47 minutes of pure melody and catchy choruses! Personally one of the potential Album Of The Year-albums for me. If you want to introduce yourself to one new band this year, let it be Cyhra!