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Hyponic : 前行者

Short but very sweet, Hyponic deftly bring their outer-edge Death/Doom to life.

Hong Kong slow movers Hyponic are back with '前行者', the duo's third release of their twenty-year career. A lurking iceberg of dissonant Doom/Death, the album's calling card is its mixture of ambient, dissonant guitars and unusually busy drum grooves. The blend makes for a result that is at once obscure and extreme sounding, but relatively easy on the ears, considering the everpresent blankets of harsh guitar leads and the usual patience-trying strum-and-hold chords that are a basic building block of much funeral doom.

With a modest playing time of just above thirty minutes (six minutes of which is a cover tune), '前行者' gets down to business from the start, and sticks to the plan for the duration. Of course, Hyponic's buiness is slow business; expect to lean in toward the enveloping sound rather than have your hair blown back. Building from an obvious foundation of influences from classics like Skepticism and Thergothon, Hyponic embraces modern production's range and is willing to play around with the aural presentation - take for example the evolving drum sound.

The first song is practically catchy, but by the time you reach tracks 3 and 4, the sound picture has become murkier and murkier, with drums pulled to the back of the room to make way for a desolate, reverb-soaked fog. Guitars, kicking off the album as ruthless aural ice picks, take on cloaks of mysterious, beckoning ethereality. You're drift, though not aimlessly, down a rabbit hole of increasingly funereal extremes, later to be rushed back in a maelstrom crescendo.

Long EP or a short album, it's clear that Hyponic had a clear musical concept in mind and showed an adept hand at bringing it to life. '前行者' is an ominously sweet escape into another world; a must-listen for fans of outer-edge doom/death and funeral doom.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. 前行者
2. 誅滅零八
3. 最後陳述
4. 寧劈不回
5. 飄流
6. Intro

Duration : Approx. 34 minutes

Visit the Hyponic bandpage.

Reviewed on 2016-09-14 by Mark Rzeszutek
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