Hypno5e: Acid Mist Tomorrow

This review of the new album from French experimental metalers Hypno5e has been one of the hardest to write. Acid Mist Tomorrow is immense, a true masterpiece and master class in ingenuity, imagination and technical ability of musicianship and songwriting. The problem with writing about it is where to begin, what to concentrate on, and how to present in written form all the qualities and startling imagination and originality within its stunning soundscapes. To try and understand the album and its workings leaves one bordering confusion, its stunning invention and conjurations difficult to get a handle on. Thankfully the band had no problem during its creation and has been borne a release that stands astride genres, thoughts, and boundaries, its innovation seamless and unfailing. The album is organic and instinctive despite so many attention grabbing elements and that makes the release so much more impressive and incredible.

Des Deux L’une Est L’Autre the debut album from Hypno5e in 2007 made the world sit up and soak the release in acclaim though it is fair to say the band still did not find the recognition worldwide that they and the release deserved. In some ways the release was ahead of its time and only in the past couple of years have others caught up with the invention and imagination the band inspired. Of course now they have got there they find that the men from Montpellier have moved on and with Acid Mist Tomorrow have set new heights and ingenious musical experiments to aspire to. The quartet of Emmanuel Jessua (lead vocals/guitar), Thibault Lamy (drums/percussions), Cédric Pages (bass/backing vocals), and Jonathan Maurois (guitar) have returned with a matured and more defined craft in their composing but still it is no less barrier flipping and eccentrically adventurous. They do not allow limitations of any design to stand in their way or restrain musical ideas however off kilter they may appear, they just embrace and explore them as Acid Mist Tomorrow proves.

The title track opens the impressive event and within the first two minutes brings such diverse elements into a glorious spread for the senses to immerse into. The opening seconds finger the ear with tense yet provocative touches before firmly gripping with stomping riffs and a hardcore vocal delivery.  These step back not long after as the melodic mellowness of the band swells and envelopes the ear with a warm smooth caress, though the weighty brute of sound is prowling and waiting just below the surface. Soon they merge and combine into a bewitching unsettling beast, their perfect sounding union leaving the senses unsure whether they are being violated or made love to. Through ten minutes of glorious imagination the song twists and pulls the senses though a journey of unpredictable wizardry, grinding riffs, rousing and  intoxicating melodic manipulation, and persuasive atmospheric  enchantment.

To be honest words do not do justice to the song or album, it really is impossible to portray what inspired treasures lay within its pulsating walls. The emotion packed Six Fingers In One Hand She Holds The Dawn – Part II steps up next to tear the heart into a hundred grateful and satisfied pieces. Following on from the brief emotive introduction of Part 1, the piece mesmerises and holds the hand as it unveils a deep and impassioned elegance, the song laying its heart before the ear. Once captivated the track bursts into a ferocious nightmare with an intensity that invades every pore and synapse. It is stunning and adventurous with plenty of what would be for any other band distracting interludes and detours that do not work but from Hypno5e it is challenging but natural and seamless.

The rest of the album is just as amazing and inspiring so the suggestion is to go investigate yourselves what is one of the finest albums to be unleashed in a long time, and just note that the other tracks Story Of The Eye, Gehenne (Parts 1 through to 3), and Brume Unique Obscurité (Part 1 and 2), also leave only deep rooted adulation and awe inspired acclamation in their wake.

It is fair to say Hypno5e will not find a willing home with everyone but if the likes of Uneven Structure, Gojira, and Textures get your juices excited Hypno5e and Acid Mist Tomorrow will have you leaking all over the place.

RingMaster 20/03/2012

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Desultor: Masters Of Hate

Masters Of Hate is a wonderfully devious album, a sneaky beast that immediately introduces itself with some fine urgent metal to engage the senses with relative ease. It is after departing its powerful charms though that one realises all the time it has worked far deeper than first imagined, the triumphant brute reappearing in the head from nowhere with riffs that deny all other thoughts and melodies that hungrily stir the mind. Swedish progressive death metalers Desultor have created one of those releases that initially grabs attention and nodding praise upon first listen but is all the time leaving deeply laid hooks and lures to reel one back in whenever it wishes. A dark satisfying and exhilarating experience that never stops bringing forth flavoursome pleasure each time it plays with the ears.

       Desultor consists of drummer Michael Ibrahim and guitarist/vocalist Markus Joha, the duo forming the band in 2007. After an acclaimed demo and promo in 2008 and 2009 respectively Masters of Hate is their debut album and first with US death metal label Abyss Records. With the label one would expect another traditional death metal release but Desultor bring much more to their sound though the base is seeded in the heart of the genre. With intelligent guitar work, striking progressive invention and melodies, and excellent clean fuelled vocals the release is surprising, unpredictable, and thoroughly infectious. Muscular and intense the album holds its violence in check to consume with an incessant wearing attack. This makes an album that takes its time to command the senses but once inside the experience is thoroughly fulfilling.

Split into two chapters, each marked with a well crafted instrumental, Masters of Hate recorded and mastered by Sverker Widgren at Sweden’s Necromorbus Studios, takes no time in overwhelming the ear. First full track after the opening haunting instrumental Black Monday thumps on the door with heavy drums and energy before bursting through with thunderous riffs and harsh caustic guitars straining at the leash. As the thrash powered sound expands and the rock vocals of Joha fill the song wonderfully, the unexpected kicks in and one takes time to adjust as the dawning of something special sweeps over the senses.

Throughout the album the guitars craft a wall of sound that wears down the defences whilst at the same time bringing concise and varied ventures into progressive sounds, their creativity tight and sharp. Songs like the passion driven And So We Bleed and Caged, a track that runs with the senses like a wild animal, stand tall with destructive intensity and antagonistic contagious energy. The skill and diversity within Masters Of Hate is as impressive as the sounds the duo rile up the senses with, inventive and startling the album blindsides expectations beautifully making the release rise above the majority of death metal powered releases elsewhere.

One imagines there will be differing favourite tracks for individuals due to the high level of creation within the album, but here the title track and the magnificent Denied stand tall amongst the giants within the album. The first bristles with bulging riffs and assertive intensity as its call to arms anthemic energy drills as deep as the intense groove that spines the track whilst the latter of the two is pure rampaging potency. Denied holds dominion over the ear and beyond with its masterful annihilatory power, the senses feeling like the legend of Canute.

Masters Of Hate is a triumph of an album, a pleasure to feast upon as one constantly finds new spices with every delving. It is a release that needs more than one visit to fully experience all of its wealth but the rewards are deep and invigorating. Desultor are a band to set the heart racing and to give death and progressive metal an inspired shot in the arm.

RingMaster 20/03/2012

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Fisthammer: Devour All You See

Without ripping up the blueprint for the genre US melodic death metal band Fisthammer have unleashed a debut album that twists and turns with eager pleasure to inspire and excite.  Devour All You See may not break down walls and venture into new plains but there are not many releases that invigorate the appetite and fuel the need for technical melodic extreme metal as much as this does. It has all the right ingredients to thrill and a skill to use them in an imaginative and creative manner, really all one needs in a great album.

Formed in the chilled twilight months of 2008 Fisthammer have consistently gained strong attention in their home of Philadelphia and beyond with their early three track demo and subsequent six track EP as well as many impressive tours throughout the US. Now with Devour All You See their debut album recorded at Atrium Audio with Carson Slovak, the quartet of guitarists/vocalists Max Svalgard and Kevin Welch, bassist David Jordan Bressler, and drummer Danny Piselli look set to make a wider mark and dent in metal as their release reaches and violates many more ears around the world.

Devour All You See is a nicely varied album, the band mixing up the intensity, pace and attack from song to song ensuring an album that is unpredictable and intriguing. It frequently breaks down the ear with a monstrous assault but just as often enflames it with well crafted scorched melodic invention and impressive technical ability. It is a release that sparks up a firm focus every time it attaches itself to the ear and though it stays within the established walls of death metal it offers an originality that makes it stand out.

Opening with the dark haunting of Intro / The Final Hour of Darkness and its ominous atmosphere the album truly wakes with a vengeance as the following Razor Waves explodes in the ear. The track digs deep and grips hard as riffs flay the flesh and acidic guitar play intrudes on the open wounds. With beats carrying as much firepower as a machine gun the song leads the senses into a meld of intensive and melodic power, all harsh and all very appetising.

The whole album attacks with the same venom and intent but with distinctly varying ways. The challenging Aten: Fear The Obliteration Of Earth brings a groove that twists and teases feelings into misshapen grinning victims; it pretty much continues the approach of its predecessor just to greater heights and glory. Then we have the likes of the excellent Bullet Rape, all persistence and insistence that one succumbs to under its razor sharp drilling of the senses through blistered melodies and unrelenting energy, and the more deliberate and attentive pace of Doom Of The Gods, a song that offers a more expressive and  thoughtful expansive exploration of the emotions. Both tracks as varied as they are powerful, and the evidence of the craft and imagination the band possesses and if there is one slight moan they do not necessarily bring out enough upon Devour All You See.

The constant across the album is the guttural venomous vocals which growl and prowl every corner of the songs. Though they do not bring much variation in delivery it actually works really well against the constantly changing sounds and directions of the music behind them, with tracks like Harvest and the mighty Zombocalypse just two fine examples.  The last of these two is an unrelenting intrusion that manipulates and teases with a groove that picks and pinches the senses eagerly and with venom, the best song on the album.

Devour All You See is an inventive and imaginative album within a defined sphere and also a very satisfying one. Fisthammer have a strong future ahead and from the evidence of the album death metal also some exciting moments ahead too.

RingMaster 20/03/2012

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