HYPNO5E - Sheol

09 Apr 2023 - Gene

Progressive | Extreme Metal | Post-Metal | Pelagic Records | Favorite song: Slow Streams of Darkness – pt.II Solar Mist

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Pulling from any modern style, not just of music, but of art at large, Hypno5e absolutely shine on the new record. This one is a kill!

The always riveting French group Hypno5e returns from a long period of live activity – and not to mention, a time of deep social unrest in their country – during which they have asserted their cinematic performance art rock bravado through Metal and multimedia performances to grace us with another entry in the Dark Source cycle on this, their sixth opus magnum, Sheol. Spoiler: It is very difficult to fault this album in any way. The performances are outstanding and the progression of their rolling mythos is very interesting lyrically, as always. The album arc, in general, as with the variety and dynamism of the playing, is just such a joy. This might be my favorite one yet.

With the characteristic Hypno5e form of beautiful brutalism which can at times resemble Féroces on a diet of Meshuggah, or perhaps a Ne Obliviscaris-levels of crack, Sheol brings us back to the hallowed shores of Tauca. It would simply take too long to parse this album track by track because every cut is so complex in exchanges of beauty and brutality, so similar to each other and thereby cohesive (even in their small schizoid ways), as pertains to the interplay between sweet, candid melodies and blistering ferocity.

This is a kind of post-modernism in extreme metal that engenders experimentation and that, precisely, is my favorite single outcome from the genre. The creative place Hypno5e are coming from regards everything in art, universally and is no stranger to contributing its own right back. This particular post-modernism is a thematic composition in series almost maliciously deconstructive in nature, your Rothko in sound, your Le Corbusier or Kubrick. For what is deconstructed can then be recomposed, replaced brick by brick. A canvas so bold and brutalist, although not to everyone’s taste, either conspicuously blank or blasted with stark, monolithic color in order to expose a distilled version of that particular palate upon which backdrop an album like Sheol is shot.

It is massive, beautiful, lyrical, conceptual and it is every bit as compelling as any one LP from Hypno5e to date, and yet it feels tighter in every way. With less ambience this time around, more direct and impactful. The clean vocals are bit more refined, as well. Sheol even handles the prominence of djent tastefully, with a record not overwrought by palm-muted technicals, yet well-seasoned for most fans. Pulling from any modern style, not just of music, but of art at large, Hypno5e absolutely shine on the new record. This one is a kill!