Hypno5e, a French band from Montpellier, are set to release their new record Shores Of The Abstract Line on the 19th of February. After their brilliant sophomore release Acid Mist Tomorrow, which was one of the most interesting records of Post-Metal, are they going to be able to satisfy the high bar they have set? First off, they are…!
Shores Of The Abstract Line kicks in with a clean intro that starts with a descending E octave on the piano, which is followed by a little section and some voices that perfectly flow into the clean guitar intro of the first proper song. The second “East Shore: In Our Deaf Lands” is a song with almost thirteen minutes of music, and provides a very similar vibe as Acid Mist Tomorrow. This is also based on the fact that Hypno5e are quoting musical aspects from the same-titled opening song of their latest record. This effect creates a perfect line between these two records and provides a musical intertextuality which will fascinate musicologists and lovers of perfectly composed music. All emotions that have been affected while listening Acid Mist Tomorrow are going to create a renaissance with a lot of goosebumps as you feel this masterpiece of music.
“Confident and uncertain, excited and depressed… this dichotomy is one of the band’s leitmotivs, that’s how we get all those highs and lows successively, just like in our actual lives. We play bipolar music”, Emmanuel Jessua – Source
Hypno5e has parts that feel similar to the epic parts of Between The Buried And Me. For example: The clean conclusion at the end of “Where We Lost The Ones”, this sections simply creates emotions and feels so enormously beautiful, like only a little amount of music is able to. The fact that all songs are combined provides a very tight flow throughout the record. It is possible to listen to single songs of this album, but it only feels complete if you listen to it in its entirety. While the several shores are little chapters of the whole story, this record is able to tell these stories without needing to understand the vocals. Your inner eye will create a screen and will let you feel like dreaming while listening this beautiful score, that is able to convince with its highs and depths.
Another experiment of Hypno5e is “Tio”: a song that features Spanish lyrics and a very ambient vibe; this song is so far away from being aggressive or heavy. The only heavy thing are the screams for “Tio” at the end of this beautiful song that feels like a ballad. Since “Tio”, translates to “uncle” in Spanish, it could a scream of longing for a beloved uncle that crossed the shore. The music itself provides a very nice diversity to the heavy songs at the beginning. It’s also worth mentioning that this song is named after the central shore, which has no direction and the only Spanish lyrics on the album as well.
So let´s think about the meaning of this record. “The Abstract Line” is not only part of the album title, it is also the song on this record that perfectly reflects its quintessence. But what is the abstract line? And what are their shores? Are Hypno5e dealing with life and death? More specifically: The abstract line as a symbol of the line between life and death? Maybe. In fact, this is what I am seeing when taking this music as a dream. In looking at the artwork, you see a clouded, dark side with a person inside, as well as a bright side, which is almost completely illuminated. This may symbolize life and the death, which is separated by the abstract line. This artwork also perfectly fits the contrast of Hypno5e´s music; the balance between soft and heavy.
The whole record works as one big track, separated into several “shores” that are titled by all directions, including a central shore. The sound on Shores Of The Abstract Line is enormously well-produced and differentiated. It sounds way more ripened in comparison to their previous work and holds more power, which gives the music a lot of aggression. As well, the clean parts are more ambient and brighter than on Acid Mist Tomorrow. All in all, the organic nature of Hypno5e is not lost, it still sounds authentic, part pf which is their sound combined with the movie quotes that appear in a number of songs. These quotes are what give the band their mysterious vibe, whether it be French, English, or Spanish.
A good example of Hypno5e´s use of quotes can be found in the seventh song, “Sea Made Of Crosses”, which features Charles Bukowski´s “The Man at the Piano”. Whilst this is creating an interesting ambiance, a disadvantage is that one can also get bored with the excessive use of these quotes, due to the fact that it seems to be a little too overloaded. It is sometimes hard to focus on the music as well, like in the beginning of “Blind Man´s Eye”, the closing track of this record. This song is reminiscent of Between The Buried And Me´s “White Walls”, being the last track and having a duration of more than fifteen minutes (even though it doesn’t sound alike). It brings a certain vibe to the music that reminds the listener a lot of Acid Mist Tomorrow and again, is beautifully composed and features a great balance between insane seven-string heaviness and beautiful clean sections that seem to appear as dreamy shapes that let you float upon milky clouds. In fact, the spoken section fits pretty well in this one, while it leads directly into the emotional singing and screaming by singer Emmanuel Jessua. This emotional aspects are to be felt in your blood and give you constant goosebumps.
Hypno5e are sticking to the concept they do best at, describing their music as cinematic metal, that is also somehow progressive metal, and also post-metal with a lot of ambiance and, of course, the voice snippets that are the band´s most recognizable factor. Mixing heavy breaks and dissonance, with beautiful clean parts and decent singing is what they have done for years. You can clearly feel the heart, passion, and ambition of this music, all the work and the emotions that floated into it for the last few years are now tingling our ears. Fans of Hypno5e will be blown away by this masterpiece of music, while every fan of good music will also be blown away. Even if it takes five more years for their next release, it will be worth it, as it was worth it to wait three years for this gigantic record. One that is for sure going to be one of my top records of 2016. Settle down and let the Shores Of The Abstract Line come over you!
Notable Tracks: “In Our Deaf Lands” , “Sea Made Of Crosses”, “Blind Man´s Eye”
FFO: Acid Mist Tomorrow, Between The Buried And Me, Textures