Album review: Cyhra “No Halos in Hell”
Modern European melodic metal band Cyhra returns with its second album “No Halos in Hell”.
Cyhra consists of vocalist Jake E, guitarists Jesper Strömblad and Euge Valovirta and drummer Alex Landenburg. That the members have played with bands such as In Flames, Amaranthe and Kamelot does not come as a surprise as Cyhra’s music kind of lives in the same musical neighbourhood as those bands. With a second album now below their belts, Jake E and his fellow band members have firmly established a Cyhra signature sound. It is a contemporary melodic metal sound with plenty of pop hooks. But within that signature style, there’s actually quite a bit of variation which is why this works very well. “No Halos in Hell” is the follow up to Cyhra’s 2017 debut album “Letters to Myself”. The new album is a natural next step for the band. It’s partly more of the same modern melodic metal with pop hooks, plenty of keyboards and guitar riffs that we heard on the debut album. But, additionally, we get a somewhat more mature band that explores some new musical areas. Cyhra’s contemporary soundscape and never-ending catchiness bring a freshness to the listeners’ ears that I really like. They are not creating something truly new here, but they are doing great radio-friendly poppy melodic metal. I have always liked Jake E’s voice and his songwriting. On this second Cyhra album, the band and its fans benefit from the album being more of a band effort than the first album, although Jake remains the principal songwriter. There are some very strong songs on this album, including the power ballad “Lost in Time” and tracks such as “Out of My Life”, “I Am the One”, “Blood Brothers”, “Kings and Queens” and the title track “No Halos in Hell”. The special Japanese edition of the album features no fewer than 18 tracks, including some special bonus material. I particularly like the scaled-down acoustic versions of some of the songs where we really get to hear how good a vocalist Jake E is. The acoustic version of “I Am the One” is exceptional! Here we get a splendid vocal performance combined with some terrific acoustic guitar work. It is the standout track on this album for me.
Cyhra’s second album “No Halos in Hell” will be released on 22nd November via Ward Records in Japan and on 15th November via Nuclear Blast internationally.