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Hypnos : The Fall

Hypnos' debut is an impressively consistent release, with very few misdemeanours to distract from the music.

France is known for its great painters, but in recent years some great Doom Metal bands have been leading a new artistic movement, with the likes of Ataraxie , Monolithe, Eibon and Monarch to the fore. Add to that list Hypnos, who paint their canvases with broad, melancholic brushstrokes, adding inspired touches of finesse here and there as their muse dictates.

With guitar strings tuned so low they scrape on the ground and vocals that sound like a tiger gargling porridge, Hypnos deliver some seriously heavy sludge. Simple, single-note repetitions, crashing cymbals and loud-quiet-loud song arrangements are standard features, but this debut album never gets dull. Admittedly, at just 32 minutes, there is hardly sufficient time to get sick of it, but this band from Lyon have created a very enjoyable dose of deconstructed Doom in the vein of Neurosis and Isis. Hypnos build a richly layered sound that binds together beauty and anguish, best exemplified in the atmospheric 'Phantasm', a song that lulls you into a sense of insecurity before launching into a kickass riff that carries you off to some wonderful purgatory. The next song on the album shows another side of the band. '[h]elle The Fall' is not so engaging, but its curious time signatures show that Hypnos are willing to push their own boundaries while simultaneously challenging the listener. It is something they would be well advised to do more of, as they continue to explore their potential.

'The Fall' is an impressively consistent release, with very few misdemeanours to distract from the music. Tight, powerful drums keep it all feeling excitingly edgy, while the trickery of the bass player comes to the fore during the quieter spells, and there is subtlety too in the guttural vocals, meaning you can hear every word.

While the focus is always on building a mood of intense poignancy, Hypnos are not afraid to veer towards the epic, often with fantastic results. The chorus of closing track 'Beast' , however, almost gets a little cheesy, with its bombastic finale and “every cloud has a silver lining” message. That said, they’re French so the cheese is probably an excellent Camembert, and in any case ‘cliché’ is a French word, so let’s not get too picky.

In Greek mythology, Hypnos, whose parents were Night and Darkness, was the personification of sleep who lived in a lightless cave. 'The Fall' would definitely be his new favourite album.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Burden
2. Arrow
3. Phantasm
4. [h]elle The Fall
5. [h]elle Abyss
6. Beast

Duration : Approx. 32 Minutes

Visit the Hypnos bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-12-12 by Steve Bidmead
A Dream Of Poe - The Wraith Uncrowned
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