Hypnos - "Halfway to Hell" CD EP Review (Crystal Productions) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hypnos - "Halfway to Hell" CD EP Review (Crystal Productions)

DOWNLOAD: Hypnos - "Burning Again" (from "Halfway to Hell")
(track hosted on band's website)

Hypnos - 'Halfway to Hell' CD EP Review (Crystal Productions)After spending a couple years apart Czech death metal band band Hypnos released a new six-song EP, "Halfway to Hell", last July on the Crystal Productions label. The liner notes on the disc say "Big Sleep is Over * Monster Is Awaken And Gently Crawling Back!" Gentle isn't a word that I would use to describe this disc as it is a solid slab of melodic, blackened death metal. "Halfway to Hell" features the core duo of Bruno (guitar/bass/vocals) and Pegaz (drums/backing vocals) and this is the band's first new disc since 2005's Rabble Manifesto.

In celebration of this release, Hypnos played a comeback show at the Czech metal festival Brutal Assault alongside bands like Cannibal Corpse, Hypocrisy and Napalm Death.

The disc's six tracks go by in just under thirty minute and Hypnos taps on all of the strengths of the black metal genre without succumbing to any of the excesses. Hypnos' music is heavy but has an underlying sense of melody that doesn't detract from the heaviness. Clear production brings out the tension and texture of the music and there are elements of symphonic black metal running throughout the disc. Adding to this, there is also enough musical variation across the songs to keep them individually distinctive and memorable. (There is none of the mindless growl-n-chug sound that some bands utilize where you can't tell one song from another after the disc has played through). One example is "Symphony V - La Resurrezione Ferale", which is a symphonic instrumental that serves as a lead-in to the chugging riffs of "Burning Again". Another is "Where The Rooks Fly to Cry", which starts out as an epic instrumental that builds up to a crescendo where Bruno adds to the tension with growled vocals.

Hypnos announced on their MySpace page that more shows are planned and that the recording of their fourth full-length CD should take place around autumn of 2011.