Wednesday, 20 October 2010

[ALBUM REVIEW] Hypomanie - Hypomanie

1. Zondagmorgen 05:55
2. Heimwee 06:38
3. Herfst 06:37
4. Innocentie 05:28
5. Slaap Zacht 05:12

Hypomanie is the relatively new project of Selwin, member of other bands such as Deep-pression, Isa and Zelfhaat. They are another one of the many shoegazey black metal bands which the underground seems to be awash with recently. Ever since Alcest's debut, everyone seems to be trying their hand at it. Most of them are nothing but poor imitators, merely jumping on the bandwagon not actually aware of what the whole aesthetic of what Shoegaze was about. On the other side of the coin, you have bands such as Hypomanie who are genuinely able to replicate that vibe of wistfulness and dreamy sound bands like Slowdive pioneered and fuse it with something different.

At this stage of the game, mixing Black Metal with post-punk and shoegaze is nothing startling, Alcest opened that door before everyone else, but it's spiriting to finally hear another band who are able to carry on that sound without sounding completely and utterly contrived, Musically this EP leans more to the dreamy, nostalgic side of the shoegaze spectrum rather than the sonic deluge of My Bloody Valentine.

The guitars are light and alternate between that 80's post-punky twang and pedal washed distortion of early 90's shoegaze. If you're looking for heaviness, then look elsewhere, I'd struggle to call this EP metal at all, more dream-pop in sound than anything else. There are some heavier, more metal moments in the release when the riffing takes on a heavier more Black Metal approach, but they're few and far between. At times it reminds me of the lighter moments of lifelover, the vocals are very similar to Kim Carlsson's squeaky high pitched shriek, not dissimilar to someone dragging a wire brush down a chalkboard. It's the bass which helps give the EP it's underlying post-punk feel as well, resonating through all the distortion with a constant pulsation, giving the songs a bit of muscle from which to base everything else on. The drumming sounds programmed, but it's not a hinder at all, the light cymbal splashing and restrained rhythms add to the hypnotic atmosphere if anything. The whole feel to the EP is extremely melancholic, but at the same time manages to be almost calming in nature. It's certainly on the better side of line than most bands trying their hand at shoegazey black metal today.

Hypomnie is essentially one big hypnotic wave of distortion, all the elements that should be there, are. It captures the essence of Slowdive and depressive black metal perfectly and entwines those sounds together fantastically. It wont convert shoegaze purists though as both scenes are lightyears apart, most fans of bands like Alcest and Lifelover lie in the metal scene rather than shoegaze anyway, but if you're already a fan of those types of bands or are looking for a decent introduction to the genre, you could do alot worse.



Thanks to Robert @ Valse Sinistre

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