Hinayana – Shatter and Fall

Well, the name of this band is Hinayana, which roughly translates to ‘the lesser path to enlightenment’. The melodeath/doom formation from Texas has not been around for very long, but already managed to attract the attention of another Zware Metalen editor with the demo called Endless. The 2020 EP, Death of the Cosmic, was my first introduction to these gentlemen and it made quite an impression on me! When I saw the new album Shatter and Fall (which is only the second LP!) on the list, I had no doubts about reviewing it. But that’s not the only reason…

First of all, it should be noted that Hinayana‘s sound becomes more mature (and therefore better, in my humble opinion) with every release. The same goes for this new album. Right from the start of Slowly Light Collides, the listener is taken into a slightly melancholic yet melodic party. The music sounds full and warm, the mix of the instruments and the vocals has been given a spatial layout and the musicians really show their talent. The first guest contribution can be found on the second song, where Vincent Jackson Jones (Æther Realm) is heard. It is a wonderful mid-tempo song with low growls and screams in the higher (more black metal) segment that alternate strongly. How Many Dreams also takes a mid-tempo approach in a melodic and melancholic way. Now, I have to admit that I am hoping for a bit louder, heavier and more noisy for a change and that is exactly what Spirit And Matter brings. Right from the start, the guitars go wild with tremolo riffs and the drummer throws out a few big double bass drum parts, which are followed up shortly afterwards with a wonderful sounding blast beat. The intensity is sublime and this song quickly became my favorite. The instrumental From Our Darkest Moments brings back the melancholy and gives us a short minute and a half to catch our breath. But then…

… it is Reverse The Code’s turn, It starts calmly and then quickly builds up to something great. How great becomes apparent after the first forty seconds. Daniel puts his calves to work and the guitars also chop and pound. This song has a very fine balance between loud and brutal versus melodic and compelling. The second favorite of this album has arrived, for sure! Also striking, and certainly present in Lost To Flame, The Answer and Triptych Visions, are the influences of these gentlemen. These seem to strongly lean towards bands like Insomnium and Wolfheart. It just so happens that Tuomas Saukkonen (singer and guitarist in Wolfheart) has contributed to A Tide Unturning, a wonderful melodeath/doom song. Almost lighter-worthy. The closing track of the album is the re-recorded Taken from the first demo.

A normal and average growth curve is taking two steps forward and then one step back. However, Hinayana seems to like to take ten steps forward, easily compensating for the one step back. This is also the case with Shatter And Fall, which is a very worthy successor to the last EP. The playing sounds good and mature, the production is excellent and the songs on the album flow together fairly smoothly. I say fairly smooth, because perhaps there could have been some more tempo changes for some extra dynamic ranges. However, this is nitpicking, because there is nothing more to criticize about this album! In addition, on the 10th of November I was at the ‘official’ album release of Shatter And Fall in the Cacaofabriek in Helmond. Hinayana opened the evening followed by Before The Dawn and Wolfheart as main act and was also very convincing live. The quality of the live playing is almost the same as what we hear on the album and the stage presentation was also rock solid. The audience remained a bit mild (there were some headbangers, beer drinkers and cheerers, but no mosh pits or great involvement from the audience) and that surprised me. Apparently the gentlemen are not yet that well known among the Dutch people. Time to change that, folks. Hinayana and the album Shatter And Fall fully deserve this.




Napalm Records, 2023


  1. Slowly Light Collides
  2. Mind Is A Shadow
  3. How Many Dreams
  4. Spirit And Matter
  5. From Our Darkest Moments
  6. Reverse The Code
  7. Lost To Flame
  8. The Answer
  9. Triptych Visions
  10. A Tide Unturning
  11. Taken


  • Casey Hurd – Vocals, guitar
  • Erik Shtaygrud – Guitar
  • Michael Anstice – Keyboard
  • Matt Bius – Bass
  • Daniel Vieira – Drums