Written by: MAK on 23/07/2021 15:12:46

When Hacktivist released their debut album “Outside The Box” in 2016, there was a lot of promise surrounding the grime-fronted djent/metalcore crew. Tours with the likes of Enter Shikari and Korn launched gave an indication that Hacktivist were on a path for bigger things, then things started to unravel. First went vocalist Ben Marvin, then guitarist Tim James, both founding members. They were replaced by Cyberpunk rapper Jot Maxi and former Exist Immortal guitarist James Hewitt. With them now in the fold, Hacktivist could come out with a bigger, more forceful sound in the form of second album “Hyperdialect”.

From the start with “Anti-Emcees”, you get an idea that within “Hyperdialect” there is a lot more pent up anger being unleashed. “Outside The Box” was fairly balanced between the heaviness of Djent and Metalcore, whereas this follow up feels like all-out aggression. We are treated to the expected grime inspired hostile raps, clean and shouted, placed on top of absolute crushing riffs and grooves. Immediately you feel that Maxi fits in with his vicious delivery, the throat tearing raps combined with violent pit enticing breakdowns just screams of a partnership made in heaven.

The five years break feels like it has worked in favour of Hacktivist musically, everything feels tighter than the debut release. The lyrical stylings of each rapper come across as crisper and the grooves are even deeper than before. The overall production has massively improved. Then the message of the release is a lot humbler than most predecessors in the rap-metal community, Limb Bizkit focused on the larger-than-life attitude, while Rage Against The Machine was more about changing the world on a large scale. Hacktivist focuses on things closer to home, the struggles of life in the UK at the street-level. “Dogs of Wars” perhaps breaks that trend by launching a vocal assault at how the UK government has handled the war with Syria.

Where this album struggles is that there isn’t a true stand out track that completely grabs the attention fully, each track has its moment where either the bars spat prick the ear, or the tenacity of the heavy grooves hook you in. However, by the time you get halfway in the attention starts to waver and every song starts to blend into the other. “Planet Zero” saves the day a little bit with the pummeling, piledriver type djenty grooves. Individually the tracks sound great, but as an entire album, it feels like a chore to get through. These are the sort of tracks to chuck into a playlist and stick it on random, they will stand out better and come across as more enjoyable to listen to.

“Hyperdialect” shows a weird kind of progression in Hacktivist. The production, the heaviness, the new vocal dynamics, they all show promise. Musically it’s punishing on the ears and can create all kinds of carnage in a live situation. However, collectively the interest is lost after a handful of tracks that sound almost identical. The desire to lose all melody and going for the relentless aggression perhaps wasn’t the right move, even a smidgen of a catchy hook every now and then might have sufficed.


Download: Planet Zero, Anti-Emcees, Lifeform
For the fans of: Astroid Boys, Heart of a Coward, Periphery
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.06.2021

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