Gig Seeker Pro


New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Metal


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




Wednesday, February 13th, 2008 at 6:03pm by Vince Neilstein

Progeny, the first proper release from New York City's Hung, is one of the more musically complex CDs I've heard in some time. This is always surprising coming from a local band but shouldn't be seeing as that band is Hung, a band we've followed and written about on MetalSucks from time to time. Following in the tradition of European influenced prog-metal, Hung's take is both fresh and well-done. With a non-traditional, almost classical approach to song structure and arrangement, Hung, though they still have some growing to do, are one of the most interesting and promising bands in the New York City metal scene.

There are many things about Hung that make them stand out from the pack, among them their unorthodox instrumentation. Hung are a 5-piece, but in place of a second guitarist is violinist Lyris Hung, the group's namesake and spiritual leader. The sound of the violin gives the band a neo-classical feel and fills two roles, alternating between leads that might otherwise be played by a guitar and atmospheric embellishment that most European bands resort to faking with synth keyboards.

Lyris is an incredibly gifted player, trading off licks and playing twin-leads with guitarist "Evil"? Jon. Sam Roon's bass lines are unbelievably complex, weaving in, out and around the guitar, violin and vocal melodies while somehow managing to stay locked into the pocket of Alex Cohen's drums. The players interact with each other in such a way, and perhaps this has to do with the fact that there's a violinist in the band, that feels more like an orchestration than a traditional rock sound. The band rarely falls into the kind of chugg-chugga that's become so passe, but even when they do venture down paths more well-traveled they mix it up with off-kilter time-signatures and rhythms, as in the verses of the album-opening title track.

While the members of Hung are certainly all excellent players, where the band really excels is its songwriting. These songs all really feel like full orchestrations, compositions if you will, that are intricately crafted from one note to the next with the most deliberate care. This to me is one of the most endearing qualities of Hung. If there's one band I would point to as a reference it would be Opeth, but this isn't to say the band is ripping off Opeth in any way. Hung utilizes Opeth's sense of melody and composition, injecting just the right amount of Brooklyn to counterbalance Opeth's Sweden. The band's song structures are often reminiscent of Opeth too, forgoing anything even close to verse/chorus/verse in favor of a much more intellectual, meandering story-telling-with-notes approach that takes each song through multiple feelings, moods and soundscapes. The band's melodies are catchy but never cheesy, hitting that oh-so-hard-to-find sweet spot that pleases both your desires for something familiar and something new, as well as hitting on both brutally heavy and slow, melancholic moments alike.

The band recorded Progeny at the infamous Trax East Studios in New Jersey with Eric Rachel (God Forbid, A Life Once Lost, Symphony X, The Red Chord), and produced the effort themselves while reaping the benefits of Rachel's excellent sonic ear for the mix. But while the orchestrations and sonic landscapes are Hung's greatest strength, on occasion they are their biggest downfall, getting a little too involved and chaotic. Not that chaos in metal is a bad thing, but sometimes the compositions get a bit muddled, what with the violin, guitar, bass and drums basically all playing "lead"? at the same time and fighting for the listener's attention. But for a self-produced, debut recording, Hung can hardly be blamed, they're still growing. A little direction in the way of an actual producer pulling the reigns back ever-so-slightly to keep things from getting a little too indulgent at times might have been beneficial, but who at this level can afford a real producer?

I'm also not clear how the four instrument-playing band members view the role of vocalist Dmitry Kostitsyn. He's certainly both an able screamer and singer, but his vocals are often a tad low in the mix. Kostitsyn emits growls both menacingly high and bowel-shakingly low, as well as hauntingly clean vocals as on "Sediment of War."? But this just highlights the fact that Kostitsyn's voice serves more as a fifth instrument than it does the traditional role of a singer. This doesn't bother me in the slightest as I rarely listen to death metal lyrics anyway, but would certainly bother some potential listeners. If anything, his voice adds to the overall orchestral feel of Progeny, which is a weird thing to say about grating growls in music that oftentimes is classical in feel, but fuck, I like it!

Hung is also a band that you really must see live to get the full experience, their live show is incredibly tight, adding to the power of the music. Progeny is an excellent debut, and though there is some room for improvement in this early stage in the band's career Hung is undoubtedly one of the best and strongest bands in the New York City scene today. Progeny is really, really good; if you're a fan of European-influenced metal you'll be drawn in right away. Get yourself a copy. -

"Another Stunning Unsigned Act..."

Despite the free music and hordes of admiring groupies whenever I go out in public, one of the few benefits of being an internet hack is getting to discover amazing underground bands that labels choose to ignore; The Living Fields, The Pax Cecilia, The Fifth Sun, In Vain, Sword Toward Self, etc - all stunning bands delivering material better than about 85% of most label released material.

Enter New York’s Hung, the brain child of one Lyris Hung, an electric violin virtuoso and apparent fan of technical, progressive death metal. Ms. Hung (yes, Ms.) has surrounded herself with a group of competent musicians and an Allan Douches/Eric Rachael recoding effort, Hung’s second album is a stellar foray into progressive death metal with a classical twist.

The twist is, that rather than simply use Ms. Hung’s violin, adding a clichéd, piecemeal element of the music, it’s used almost like a second guitar, providing actual riffs and solos throughout every moment of every song, not just random injections or interludes. The nearest comparison I can think of, is Ebony Tear’s Tortura Insomniae or Yo Yo Ma covering Cynic and Death. More surprising is that it actually works. The five developed tracks would actually have been solid progressive death metal offerings without the violin as all four of the other players are solid musicians in their own right, with vocalist Dmitry Kostitsyn providing ample rasps and deep growls (though his clean crowns are a bit off) and guitarist Evil Jon laying down plenty of complex yet melodic and proficient riffs and lick.

And then there is Ms. Hung. It’s actually fairly difficult to express how her electronic violin melds with the other more traditional metal instruments, but it does. Like I stated, the violin is not used as some goth/doom tangent but is integral to every riff and every part of each song, trading off with Evil Jon or simply providing its own lick of stirring, classical moments. It shouldn’t work, but it does as Ms. Hung helps provide galloping riffage in tracks like “Maria” or trades off with more intricate licks like on “Wishing Scar” and essentially delivers some truly surprisingly metal moments in all five tracks. I especially like the nine minute “Sediment of War”, where the violin initially plays a more traditional, delicate role before becoming a truly, stunning epic closer.

At About 35 minutes, this nicely packaged digipack is absolutely worth the $10 asking price. In a genre that seems to rely on either blunt force trauma or mind numbing complexity, it's refreshing to hear some death metal that’s actually doing something challenging and different. -


Progeny (2007)
Matter of the Blood (demo EP 2006)



HUNG is a melodic/progressive death metal band based in New York City that transcends even its own musical definitions. Right off the bat, with its unusual line-up of electric violin and guitar switching off on leads, HUNG challenges the norm. Their music, epic in scope, moves fluently between brutal, aggressive riffs to eerily beautiful melodies to daredevil, virtuosic passages, all while maintaining its own distinct and cohesive sound.

Lyris Hung, the electric violinist, founded the band with guitarist Evil Jon and bassist Sam Roon, the two of whom had worked together previously in Masque of the Red Death. Moscow-born growler Dmitry Kostitsyn takes the frontman position, and Kenny Grohowski is on drums.

Though the members of HUNG share a love of metal, they each come from a wide array of influences, ranging from classical to jazz and rock. They brought these musical experiences together, creating a sound that is at once paying homage to the masters of European death metal and strikingly different. Evil Jon, as the band’s primary songwriter, helps shape HUNG’s sound with a combination of melodic intricacy and technical fireworks.

HUNG has shared the stage with bands such as Full Blown Chaos, God Forbid, Macabre, Soilwork, Darkest Hour, Warblade and others. They have played the Milwaukee Metalfest and regularly tour New England and the NY/NJ/PA tri-state areas. In addition, they continue to actively vitalize the New York metal scene with HUNG Productions, their own event/show production company, and their partner site co-founded by bassist Sam Roon. HUNG proudly endorses Coffin Case, Cocaine Energy Drink and Ed Stone Clothing.

HUNG's second album, Progeny, was recorded by Eric Rachel (God Forbid, Symphony X, Black Dahlia Murder) and mastered by the legendary Alan Douches. With five tracks and a running time of almost 35 minutes, Progeny is at once concise in its storytelling and immense and dynamic in its range. From the opening title track, a piece which demonstrates the band's ability to weave intricate melodies and harmonies, to the Desert of Sad and Maria, a pair of dark and driven death metal anthems, to the twistedly militaristic Wishing Scar and the brutally epic finale Sediment of War, HUNG makes its mark on the metal scene – and it is a lasting one.