The Hyena Kill didn’t just level up in band members since their 2016 debut album, ‘Atomised’. With ‘A Disconnect’, they return with a new and elevated sound as well.
That’s not to say that there aren’t any hiccups on the band’s sophomore full-length, but when they’re good, The Hyena Kill absolutely nail it.
After a build up of white noise coming with the intro track ‘Septic’, ‘Passive Disconnect’ kicks off in a promising matter, but sadly it doesn’t manage to hold your attention for too long. Following number ‘Cauterised’ feels like much of the same, mushy production, repetition in vocal patterns; threatening to completely lose some peoples’ interest and turn the record off at a rather unfortunate point when the true shining stars of ‘A Disconnect’ are just about to hit.
‘Witness’ is full of surprises, an incredible vocal performance, and instrumental twists and turns and shifts in tempo along the way to never let us rest. ‘Close Enough’ builds on top of that same energy, and, even though admittedly it could’ve done with a heavier ending, it nicely transcends into one of the most impressive tracks on the record, ‘Thin’. While it’s minimalistic sonically, it completely captivates everything with what may be vocalist/guitarist Steven Dobb‘s best performance vocally.
Afterwards, ‘Bleached’ is back with a full blast of energy, and the last one for that matter. That’s when The Hyena Kill‘s peak is over, and the rest of ‘A Disconnect’ kind of starts to disappear a little again. The pacing and the track listing might be the main problem that this record has. It peaks around the middle and fizzles out without too much noise across the first and last three songs. That’s not to say they’re not great, but they need a lot more attention to be fully appreciated, which can easily be lost on a lot of people during their first listen and make them ditch a re-run of the record.
For the most part, ‘A Disconnect’ is a stunning return, full of emotional turmoil and well encapsulated desperation that would, and could, be much better appreciated if rearranged.