Hinayana is a melodic death-doom band that sounds like it was coming out of a grey and cold Nordic landscape but it isn’t! Hinayana resides in Austin, Texas with Casey Hurd as the main songwriter. This EP was released back in August 2014 and I would probably not have discovered it without the hard promotional work from Casey. I’ve noticed that not only I have gotten my eyes and ears turned towards his creations, and it delights me. Casey is currently searching for other serious musicians to join the Hinayana voyage, and I hope he succeeds as I would very much like to know where this ends.
Hinayana means ‘Lesser/Despicable Vehicle’ in Sanskrit and though the meaning and its origin seems to be debated among Buddhist I’ve come to this conclusion after reading into it, that the word were used by the Mahayana-practitioners as an insult to all the old Buddhist schools that questioned their new ‘greater vehicle’. Enough about that and over to the music…
Endless builds up a momentum right from the start, with some delicate guitar pickings that soon gets accompanied by the sweet sound of the bass. The main rhythm’s drive continues all the way through the song with layers interwoven like a organic web. The pace of the songs are moderately energetic with a gloomy aura wrapped around them. I love that the use of the keys are held on a level where they are present, but do not take over. The vocal is worth mentioning, as it is well articulated and pleasant to listen to despite the harshness of the mucus covered growls.
This demo offers some interesting tracks that can be heard over and over again. And with some slight adjustments in the mixing, I think Hinayana could go very far. I miss a little ‘air’ between the layers and I feel the vocal drowns a little in the instruments, but it is nothing that effects my listening experience at all. There is not one weak track on this demo and the closing track ‘Bringers Of The Dawn’ fills the air with epic battles, galloping horses, sword swinging vikings (And I want to listen to Amon Amarth now).
To sum it up: Endless is a must listen if you like melodic death/doom with a really good vocal, interesting melodies, a Nordic atmosphere and the potential to go far!