Friday, February 20, 2009

Hypno5e - Des Deux L'une Est L'autre

Dark. Dense. Imposing. Elegant. Brutal. Elaborate. Masterful. Brilliant. I could go on and on and on, utilizing one adjective after another to describe the wondrous sounds that emanate from Hypno5e’s album, Des Deux L’une Est L’aurte. This is the type of album that you’ll listen to for the first time and find yourself being bombarded with countless time changes, textural and mood swings, vocals morphing from somber and haunting to tortured and blistered. This is the type of album that will have you so captivated by the tornado of sounds that you can’t help but hit the play button on the CD player one more time. And then again. And then again. This is the type of album that will make you question all that you know, or think that you know, about music.

Hypno5e take the deepest grinding tones of extreme metal and make it, if even possible, denser and more evil sounding. But to label these cats as merely another extreme metal band would be a terrible disservice. They take the whole doomy, death movement and inject a hearty dose of experimentation that reminds me of when Tool first burst on the music scene and turned alternative rock, grunge, and metal on its ear. Hypno5e have that same thing going here. Experimentally proggy, technically over the head, and brutal all at the same time, these guys hear music in their own unique way and aren’t afraid to stretch their sound to distant and, as of yet, unimaginable dimensions.

To really grasp a deeper understanding of this album and how the band thinks, you’ll have to listen to it with open ears and simply accept that your reality is being challenged. But, if you can’t spare an hour plus to initially get to know these guys, then I suggest that you start with the epic masterpiece, “Daybreak at Slaughter-House.” The title sounds like a French painting depicting social atrocities and comparing them to life in a slaughterhouse, and in a lot of ways, that’s what this song is. A painting. A sonic painting of vividly colorful expressions that layer upon itself from brutal and unrelenting, to soulfully tormented and passive, to hopeful and inspiring. Opening with a charge of technical distorted fury, the song suddenly dips into this beautifully executed clean passage filled with melodies that both lift the soul with hope and weigh the psyche down with an imposing dread of the future. The addition of acoustic guitars and female backing vocals in the middle of the chaotic off time rhythms gives this tune extra depth, and help give the song that “Stairway to Heaven” type of grandness. The song dips and weaves for almost ten minutes, but if you were to ask me, I’d tell you it only feels like five minutes at most. Complex is an understatement of what this song brings. It’s beyond complex. I have to question how these guys remember the timing on all of the various parts to this song. Man, what a tribute to music!

“The Hole” starts off with a creepy delay laden clean toned guitar that slowly morphs into a simple crisp arpeggio that’s accompanied by some windswept ambient sounds. The vocals over the guitars are also clean and melodic, again, helping to create this vivid image of doom and dread. The female vocals that harmonize softly in the background give the song a bit of a Goth feel that is immediately lost when the swirls of chaos return. Huge waves of distorted guitar and bellowed vocals crash against the senses like an angry sea hell bent on destroying a rocky seashore. The sampled lines of “I want to live because I miss breathing,” cast a sepia tone over the tune, giving it the gothic feel one more time. And once the band comes back in with the aggressive and technically proficient riffs, the body starts moving to the rhythm, a groove of sorts. Heavy, perfectly distorted, well produced, and so in your face. Brilliant! Bloody fuckin’ brilliant!

“Scarlet Fever” builds note by note to create this incredible wall of tension before exploding into a frenzied and hectic blast of riffage. As all of the songs on Des Deux L’une Est L’autre do, this tune propels itself in every direction. Mellow and chill for a minute here, destructive and angst ridden for a couple minutes over here, introspective and moody for another minute just over the next riff . . . this is the kind of dynamic stuff that keeps me coming back for more. Always interesting and different with every listen. Case in point, I don’t remember this piano part midway through the song. I doesn’t mean that it wasn’t there before (coz’ that would be impossible, even for these guys,) it just means that there is so much going on that unless you live this music, you’re not going to remember every little facet of it.

There’s something going on in France that’s going to change the face of the music world. It has to. The movement is too strong and fascinating to go by without any recognition . . . but, I’ll get to more of that later. Hypno5e are an incredibly talented group of guys with an unorthodox view of musical expression. Much like the great innovators of music, this band is making music their way. The way they want it to sound. The way that they feel. And that’s going to translate to an audience that either doesn’t get them and shrugs their shoulder in apathy, or it’s going to strike such a powerful chord with them that this type of music will become more common place and more widely accepted. God! How great would that be! To tune into a radio station and hear select tracks from Hypno5e! I live for the day when I hear a track like “Tutuguri” being aired instead of whatever is being aired these days. The future is getting brighter, my friends. Stay tuned . . . I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from this French legion of doom in one way or another. - Pope JTE

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