Weapons I’ve Earned is a debut full-length by HYLE, a d-beat/crust punk quartet from Bologna, Italy. Previously, the group published a cassette with three songs named ὕλη and a seven-inch EP called Malakia. The group also stands out for anarchism, anarcho-feminism, antifascism, anti-authoritarian beliefs, and follows the good old DIY ethics. Judging by the cover artwork, I could only assume the band members are also into occultism, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. By taking a glimpse into their previous releases, you may notice that HYLE changed the visual aesthetics, but only by adding bright colors to the exact thematics.
Weapons I’ve Earned delivers some innovations into the sound of the group. Besides classic explorations into crust punk and d-beat waters, HYLE includes more elements of heavy sludge, doom, and stenchcore throughout the entire recording. The compositions sound obscure, sinister, crude, but on the other hand, detailed and defined enough to depict the grimy atmosphere of the current events across the globe. HYLE nurtures dark and depressive ambiance through slow trashy and sludgy guitar shreds that, all of a sudden, transform into the velocious crust punk orchestrations. Bass guitar supports these shreds with gracious layers of distorted low-end tones, massive enough to crush all the bones. Nothing would sound so compact without exceptional drumming performance, built upon various rhythmical acrobatics. Drummer combines loads of half step rhythms that smoothly transit into strenuous d-beat havoc.
By taking a quick glimpse into the lyric sheet, HYLE deals with some inner struggles, depression, angst, mixed emotions, and behaviors. The group catalyzes these feelings and emotions to fight back against the system, the oppressors, misogynists, and desperately calls out to fight for freedom. Weapons I’ve Earned cherishes empowerment of the women through bone-crushing sound that tears listening apparatus apart. The group vividly resembles the sound of some prominent heavyweights such as Amebix, Hiatus, Hellshock, Misery, Nausea, Kylesa, and all other similar groups who base their appearance on crust punk/d-beat sound with gracious dosages of stenchore, thrash, sludge, and doom metal. HYLE sounds precise throughout the entire album, with cleverly structured and arranged transitions from moderate to more furious segments. Weapons I’ve Earned comes on black vinyl thanks to a co-production between Calimocho Autoproduzioni, Bright Future, Fresh Outbreak Records, Scull Crasher Records, and Shove Records.