HYPNO5E have now punched me in the face two times in three years. The first time was when I reviewed Shores of the Abstract Line and was caught unawares by its heady, intellectual, and heavy as all hell brand ... Read More...
Stripping something down to its core components is one of the oldest and most powerful of tropes. The story of getting down to the core of things has immeasurable power over us. In fact, it appears that it becomes more and more relevant the farther along we go; as our lives get more and more complicated in the modern age, the appeal of a return to basics strikes deep. Works as varied as Into the Wild, Breaking Bad and Inception all revolve around the idea of the fake, sleek, modern, and inauthentic self sloughing away, leaving behind it a core that rings with truth and power. These themes and narratives are the fuel behind Hypno5e's latest release, Alba - Les Ombres Errantes. There can be no other impetus for a band known for their complexity and contrasting influences to make a minimalist album; the drive which makes such an effort go is inherently tied with the idea of a return to basics.
We've had our eyes on Pelagic Records ever since the label was started around the post metal powerhouse that is The Ocean. Their mission seems to be the quality release of anything hovering around the post metal and rock monikers, extending their fingers into dark folk, electronic beats and more. While Pelagic has been doing great things over the years since their founding, 2017 seems to have been a true watershed for them. From stellar releases (with names like Lo!, Labirinto, LLNN, pg.lost and many more) to new signings (like Ancestors, one of my favorite doom bands of all time), Pelagic has been all over the map of the metal community. Nothing drives home their upwards momentum more than a compilation they themselves have released, in conjunction with Visions Magazine.
Shores of the Abstract Line is a complex, thick and often violent musical creation, straddling the lines between chugged breakdowns, technical leads and atmospheric post-metal. It's a journey and an ordeal, one which opens itself to introspection and careful examination. Should you be willing to do so, you'd find one of the most convincing and moving albums of 2016 and, indeed, of the nascent new wave of post-metal.
Eden's back! That's good, because we have a lot of news to cover this week. David Bowie's passing is obviously on our agenda, as is Stereogum's analysis of Nielsen's music report, Textures's new single, Obscura's new single, and the Behemoth/Myrkur U.S. tour. Then we go into the in depth discussions of the week, the first being my overall review of System of a Down's career as a whole, since I discovered them last year, and the second being accents of singers who aren't native English speakers and how that affects their music. Don't forget the off topic section at the end as well!