• Axl Rosenberg

452321607_l.jpgCalling your band “Hung” and prominently featuring an electric violinist may seem like a pretty great way to invite ridicule in the metal world, but all laughter will stop the moment you see New York’s own Hung take the stage. This is brutal, take-no-prisoners melodic death metal that isn’t afraid to stretch beyond the usual boundaries of the genre and incorporate more progressive, creative elements.

In point of fact, that violinist- the band’s secret weapon- is Lyris Hung, and in case you can’t tell from the band’s choice to utilize her name as their moniker, she’s their Eddie Van Halen; she doesn’t play the violin the way you might expect, as a one-woman orchestra to heighten their black metal influences, but in fact acts as co-lead guitarist with axe slinger Jon Clark (who, it is worth noting, can shred with the best of ’em). It’s really quite a sight to witness this new spin on this classic metal tradition- if you’ve never seen someone headbang with a violin, well, now’s the time. And when the band does drift off to more meditative pastures, Lyris helps to add another dimension (she apparently has double degrees in her instrument from both Columbia and Juilliard, so it would seem there’s pretty much nothing she can’t do).

Throw in booming the rhythm section of bassist Sam Roon (“Roon” is a metal name if I ever heard one) and drummer Alex Cohen and the menacing vocals of Dmitry Kostitsyn, and you have yourself one pretty potent package.

Hung are already better than half the local bands I’ve seen in the past year, and although they already have one EP, Matter of the Blood, it never quites does these cats justice; I’m told their re-entering the studio this summer to record something with a little more oomph behind it. I, for one, will be more than a little curious to track this band’s progression in the not-so-distant future.


Visit Hung at MySpace.

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