03. Orbital Hallucinations
04. Galactic Garbage
06. The Hidden
08. Unmoved Mover
09. Path to the Unknown
10. Event Horizon
11. We Drift
12. A Distant Beacon
Low sludgy riffs, reverb and delay pedals, and a guy screaming about space. Sound familiar? Well it should, as it is the groundwork for many a post-metal band. As cliché as is sounds, it’s an approach that is after my own heart. The dichotomy of huge lumbering riffs and melodic atmosphere is a sound that many of us here at Heavy Blog can get into. VYGR (Previously known as Voyager) not only make a damn fine addition to the genre, but also approach the archetypal post-metal sound.
Running at almost an hour in length, Hypersleep is massive in both sound and length. The sound is very riff-oriented, with a steady stream of low doom-like trudging making Hypersleep consistently heavy. VYGR do change modes from time to time to reflect in moments of melodic atmospheric environments that allow the bottom end to drop out and bring lush synth and leads into the spotlight where the band shines the brightest. The harmonic leads during the closing moments of “The Hidden” are quite blissful and the guitar solo on “Shapeshifters” is fantastic.
The vocal front to VYGR is pretty much what you’d expect from sludge or post-metal band. The deep bellowing screams do very little to stray from the path and are unfortunately not all that diverse, which is one of the band’s weak points. Cleaner vocals do appear, albeit pitch-shifted for effect, in the rumbling closer “We Drift,” but they seem gimmicky as an attempt to sound ominous. He does pull double duty as a keyboard player, laying a backing of synth atmosphere that adds helpful melodic textures throughout the course of Hypersleep that while not too complicated, add nuance and flair to the music.
If Hypersleep is anything, it is consistent. While VYGR change up the game from time to time, it takes several listens and quite some time to tell the difference between non-interlude tracks, as they are all similar in tempo and mood; there is definitely a formula at work here. Just about every full song starts out heavy, shifts into an instrumental section, and going heavy again. Throw in an ambient interlude and do repeat as necessary. That doesn’t stop the album from being adventurous and enjoyable though, as there are plenty of interesting ideas being explored.
Where bands like Isis explores a more spacey ambient vibe in greater frequency, VYGR anchors themselves in the realm of sludge and do it fairly well. If the band were to explore alternate means of songwriting and employ different structures and broader movements, they’ll be able to become top-dogs in the genre. Hypersleep is a good start though, and is a thought-provoking experience.
VYGR’s Hypersleep gets: