Review Summary: Esoteric worship that may evoke some degree of skepticism, but Hyponic will not lead you asunder.
The opening, self titled track of The Noise of Time
epitomises Hong Kong based Hyponic’s interesting take on the death/doom genre; fluid collusion of rhythm and lead with an intensely guttural vocal performance sets the song’s stone rolling, and it doesn’t take long for one to realize that Hyponic do not adhere to any degree of mediocrity, an unfortunate ‘given’ when it comes to death/doom.
The band’s sound is easily identifiable as a unique combination of various doom foundations; borrowing heavily from funeral doom group Esoteric
, Hyponic’s sound incorporates a somewhat psychedelic and hugely atmospheric base within their grounding of death/doom. Sinister disposition aside, certain sections of The Noise of Time
feel almost spacey – it’s obvious a great deal of thought has gone into the album’s composition, and its structure is easy to embrace and hard to let go.
After a brief interlude of weighted silence, ‘The Noise of Time’ culminates in a frenzy of drumming and guitar effects. The way in which this closing section exerts a seemingly chaotic rage within the mechanical tempo is another nod towards Hyponic’s grasp over atmosphere. Following the immediate forcefulness of the opening track, the album becomes progressively stranger and somehow melds its ominous lurch with an unrestrained marijuana addiction; a boding effervescence that reeks of paranoia combined with an infinitely claustrophobic arrangement results in The Noise of Time
being a true stoner’s nightmare.
Both middle tracks are inched across the mind at a slower rate than that of the first, and constitute a large portion of the album’s looming might; ‘Subconscious Attack’ unfortunately revolves around Esoteric
based ideas far too much for my liking, and to an extent ‘The Dead, The Stranger’ does too, but the latter manages to capitalise on the record’s original ingenuity. The disturbing guitar effects and permeating riffs at the end of ‘The Dead, The Stranger’ yet again throws the listener into a fixated condition of fear, a technique which Hyponic have really mastered.
In what is a very appropriate fluctuation between moods, final track ‘Hymn to the Dark’ begins similarly to the opener, and constantly places riff upon riff before allowing the construction of mistrust to collapse into a deceitful hush. Its subsequent build up, characterized by what is one of the most disturbing lead guitar performances I have ever heard, tops off the album’s marked atmosphere of trepidation.
Ultimately, The Noise of Time
drives its point home in the dynamism of its execution: the way in which the songs advance through dread-invoked moods is further expounded by its progressive nature and elaborate edifice. Hence, it remains appealing throughout and easily avoids the inherent stagnation that could encumber such an album.