Where Emptiness Is All - 2023 - Odium

HYL  image
Black Altar, Kriegsgott, Raus!, Ofermod>>SHADOW [DARIUSZ SIERADZKI]>>Black Altar, Kriegsgott, Raus!, Ofermod


Southern Black Sand, Deathwork, Cromìa Oscura, Humanity Eclipse, The Ancient War, Fusion Limit>>RICK CONSTANTINO>>Southern Black Sand, Deathwork, Cromìa Oscura, Humanity Eclipse, The Ancient War, Fusion Limit

Resurrection, Aggressor, Deathspawn, Hate, Vader, Batushka, 10 Plagues, Belphegor>>Krysztof Klingbein>>Deathspawn, Hate, Vader, Batushka, 10 Plagues, Belphegor

History & Biography
Hyl was founded by serial band member Rick Costantino (Deathwork, Krigere Wolf, Schizo, etc.) and was joined by vocalist Shadow (Black Altar, Ofermod and Kriegsgott) in 2022 and drummer Krzysztof Klingbein, known for his live work with Vader, Belphegor and Hate, in 2020. The rule, therefore, was that to be in the band one must be a side-project fan. The drummer was advertising for more bands and session gigs.

Odium Records - owned by Shadow - announced Where Emptiness Is All for early 2023. The sounds were captured by Dionysis Dimitrakos (Burial Hordes, Enshadowed, etc.) and ex-Marduk bassist Devo Andersson (Protector, Lord Vicar, Funeral Mist, etc.) while both the lyrics and artwork were created by Claudia Sanza of Elysivm Art (Krigere Wolf). Flo Musil, drummer of Schirenc Plays Pungent Stench, Theotoxin, Agrypnie and Schammasch live, joined in 2023. The band was planning a split release and a new album. The split was Himni Ad Impios and for the departed Beastcraft and Hyl.


Hallowed chanting creeps into the ether as the CD begins to spin and seep into every nook and cranny luring the listener into the song Into The Unknown, which begins promisingly and stays impressive. Moreover, it is a harbinger of the album’s music whose quality encompasses consistency. An olden Mayhem-like riff crashes in at mid-pace before speeding up courtesy of the drum first and other instruments next. The music is simple, effective and true. The vocals are gruff and sinister. The song falls back upon melodiousness soon enough as well. There is a break mid-track near the song’s end that harkens back to Rush’s 2112 before the proceedings resume with And Everything Dies a faster and even more powerful song. The title track again is long, simple, powerful and yet feels short in its vicious attacking nature. Endless Illusions has what comes across an endless intro and then it is onto Under A Watching Sky, which harbours another atmospheric and mysterious lofi effects-ridden track that acts as a mysterious outro.
The sound is punchy enough and clear, but the old-school and no-frills production adds to that authentic feel. It feels odd to be forced to write this, but this is the world we inhabit. It feels serene to once again hear black metal that is actually both metal and black. Think Mgla, old Mayhem and Immortal. It is blackened for sure, but added melancholy and smell of carrion are never faraway. - Ali “The Metallian”

Hyl Interview
Hyl is a young and multinational extreme and black metal band with members in Italy and Poland. The band was put together in 2020 and has used the intervening time to issue an album through Odium Records, which has now received the Metallian seal of approval. Ali “The Metallian” sat down with main man Rick Costantino to bring more information to the readers. - 12.06.2023

METALLIAN: Rick, welcome to Metallian Towers. Here we publish Metallian for the true metal fiends and here we have been playing the Hyl record. How did this project come about?
RICK: Hello and nice to meet you. Hyl is a band born about three years ago during the world pandemic. I wanted to create a black metal reality whose name could make people talk about it. The intention was to create a contemporary atmospheric black metal band, evoking dark, melancholic, malevolent sounds capable of expressing the greatness of the universe through introspection and analysis of the relationship between human consciousness and nature. The concept of the band was worked out together with my wife Claudia, who is my most supportive and artistic partner, and I entrusted her with the task of lyrical writing and the graphic and artistic work of the band. Musically, I created sharp and dark riffs, but at the same time harmonic and orchestral, needing great rhythmic support, quite technical and a majestic lead voice. So later, after creating the songs, I contacted drummer Krzysztof Klingbein, formerly of Vader and Belphegor live and Shadow of Black Altar and Ofermod live on vocals and together we made the debut Where Emptiness Is All.

METALLIAN: It is important to clarify that when Rick speaks of being “orchestral,” he is not talking about weak keyboard-laden music. He is using that description correctly within the context of metal. Back to the answer, has Claudia been involved with other musical acts or is this her debut?
RICK: She collaborated with me on the album Blazing In A Purging Fire of my band Krigere Wolf. She did the same job as in Hyl. That is, she was in charge of writing the lyrics and graphics and artistic creation of the artwork and layouts. Also, she is a great artist. She really draws and paints impressively and she works in the tattoo world. She is my personal tattoo artist and has a really remarkable artistic sense.

METALLIAN: How had the band members become acquainted in the first place?
RICK: I have been following Krzysztof Klingbein because I like his playing very much and especially I have seen how much he's improved in just a few years. Being a session drummer for many bands, I thought about contacting him and asking him to record for us, but I already knew that he wouldn't be a full-time member so he worked with us as a session drummer and with great speed and professionalism he delivered the drum recordings to me and also kept the arrangements exactly as I imagined them. As for Shadow, I knew his band Black Altar, a historic Polish black metal band that I love. When his latest video came out, I was very impressed with his image and his performance, even though it was not my intention to have that kind of a voice, something made me think that he would be able to provide the kind of voice that I needed. And indeed he did as he is a great professional so much so that he immediately became the band's official singer and a really good friendship developed between us. He is also the head of Odium Records, a famous Polish label with a sophisticated taste for black metal, which is releasing Where Emptiness Is All digitally and on CD on the 25th of May.

METALLIAN: Incidentally, which term best applies to Hyl? Is it 'band,' 'project' or 'side-project'?
RICK: I hate the term 'project' because it sounds like something that has an expiry date. My intention is to carry on with Hyl probably for the rest of my life. Maybe the better term is side band. Hyl is a band in its own right. I can tell you that.

METALLIAN: Was the music shopped to different labels or was Shadow's Odium Records the easy and obvious choice?
RICK: Shadow immediately had the idea of releasing Hyl on Odium Records. Of course, I accepted and felt very honoured also because I hadn't thought about signing up until then.

METALLIAN: Speaking of which, why be in another act? Why is everyone in multiple bands? I remember a time when everyone was monogamous and dedicated.
RICK: There is no particular reason. It is a matter of love and passion for music. Especially when you hear all the great music and know how to play, you want to start many bands. It's a lot of fun. I don't want to deny that it can be stressful at times because it keeps you really busy mentally, physically and financially, but it's a stress I couldn't live without.

METALLIAN: OK, let's delve deeper. What is 'Hyl' and who came up with the monicker? Why?
RICK: I came up with the name together with my wife Claudia. It means 'howling' (in Norwegian). When I started playing the first riffs, the idea was to create atmospheres that would evoke nature on its darkest side. It was about open and melancholic sounding riffs, black riffs, music that makes you dive into a desolate snow field among wolves. Hence the name Hyl.

METALLIAN: Musically, the band has succeeded in producing a true piece of music that has force, feeling and a fanaticism for black metal. This is why the album is superlative, in my opinion. Does that description resonate with you as a member of the group and composer?
RICK: First of all, thank you for the excellent consideration. Well, yes. I have to say that it is probably the best work I have done in my entire musical career. It took me three years to work on the six songs and in the past I have usually been a lot quicker in putting out an album. I think a debut is always the most important. If you get it wrong the first time you risk burning everything and after many years of experience I've realised that doing everything without rushing brings great results. I am very happy with the final result of the album and above all I am very ambitious for the future. I want the next albums to be better than this one.

METALLIAN: On the down side, and as much as the songs are long, the album leaves one wanting more musically. The effects and atmospherics render the songs to the shorter side.
RICK: The idea of creating a not too long of a concept album was on purpose. I had four songs and lyrics ready. I didn't want to add more stuff that would distort my work. When you are composing songs for a concept you have to create them at the same time. You don't want too much time to in-between the creation of one song to the next because you risk losing the compactness of the songs. So, I decided later on to include ambient sections, like Pvrification the intro, an atmospheric section at the end of Into The Unknown, which gave the song an extra touch of dark atmosphere, and Under A Watching Sky as outro to plunge the listener even more into the darkness of the album. I am a big fan of ambient music and I had a feeling that these tracks would make everything more atmospheric and darker.

METALLIAN: What is next for you and Hyl? Where to from here? What news could you share?
RICK: The latest news is that we have a new drummer. For the next recordings we are working with Flo Musil, drummer of Schirenc Plays Pungent Stench, Theotoxin, Agrypnie and Schammasch live. He recorded two tracks for a split album we will do soon. After this split we will be working on the new full-length and considering some future live shows.

METALLIAN: Rick, let’s shift the questions. You may have heard of the four corners, or Quattro Canti, of Palermo in Sicily. On a particular night, a returning Bathory is performing inside a building on one corner, Mayhem with Euronymous in another corner, Immortal's original line-up is reunited and is in yet another corner and finally a beautiful maiden is on the altar of sacrifice in the fourth building screaming for your help. You can only be in one place. Where will you be?
RICK: Quorthon, obviously!

METALLIAN: Concise and decisive answer. Finally, and before we retire for the evening, everyone on the metal scene knows that Metallian is the best of the best and the most elite of the elite. In your words, why is everyone accurate?
RICK: Metallian is absolutely a great site which honours hundreds of very good bands with great professionalism and most of all the utmost respect from my side for those who support my music. I am really happy to have done this interview for your great 'zine.

Thanks to Rick for the answers. Readers into the underground can find the band here.

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