Hypomanie
Hypomanie EP


4.0
excellent

Review

by Qwe Qwetherington USER (6 Reviews)
December 3rd, 2009 | 52 replies | 6,729 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Atmospheric Depressive Post-Black Shoegaze . Yeah.

3 of 5 thought this review was well written

What I find really great in an album is when its cover art suits the music it contains. My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless - fuzzy, pink, lush and hard to fully understand with a passing glance - is a perfect example of such an album, as is that of As The Roots Undo; organic, striking and chaotic. This does not have any effect whatsoever on the enjoyment of the music, but whenever I find an album such as this, it impresses me that the artist was able to so accurately match visual art to their sonic art. This is the case with Hypomanie’s eponymous EP: a gray, depressing, gloomy and hazy scene greets you as you open the case - then it introduces itself to your ears.

Hypomanie is a one-man music project from the Netherlands that plays a mixture of depressive/atmospheric black metal, post rock and shoegaze. Hypomanie’s real name is unknown, and visitors to his MySpace page will see that the project’s only member is named “S.,” whose "members" box claims that “He Loves You.” I’m sure he’s a really down-to-earth guy in real life.

The jangly pickings of a lone guitar would fool many listeners into thinking they had just bought a post rock record. The subsequent addition of typical post rock percussion would not convince you otherwise, either. It seriously sounds like Tortoise or Mogwai or even Slint could have written it. The ostinatos and melodies are indeed archetypal post-rock but luckily are done very well. The production gives the picking an icy cold feel, and the addition of passionate-as-fuck black metal vocals gives one a chilling sense of desperation and anguish that trumps the occasionally derivative nature of the EP’s post rock elements.

In a technical sense, the EP is pretty average. S. plays the drums, guitar, bass and keyboard on the record, but none with a significant amount of skill, except perhaps guitar. This doesn’t make much of a difference to the music though, as the songwriting is of a high standard. A particularly good example of this is the song 'Innocentie' which begins and ends with a music box playing a well-known lullaby and a baby crying. Most of the song (sans baby noises and so forth) is heavy, fast paced atmospheric black metal utilizing typical black metal elements and typical post rock elements. The reason it works is because it is so well put together: the slower, less heavy parts are added at just the right time, the vocals bestial. The shift from such intense music to a baby crying over a lullaby is superb.

What took me by surprise in this EP is how smoothly the transitions from pleasing post-rock and shoegaze grooves to black metal sections are. Listening to the song 'Heimwee', I caught myself listening to a segment that was laden with atmospherics akin to black metal (the first of the record) and thinking “when did that happen?” The post-rock introduction slowly becomes more raw sounding and loud, until you’re suddenly listening to atmospheric black metal. The prevalence of this technique could either add or detract from the listening experience depending on your taste. If you like being shocked by your music, you’re not going to find what you’re looking for here.

I’m not going to say that Hypomanie’s blend of post rock, black metal and shoegaze never gets boring, because it will. Even the most well-done post-rock and black metal will get boring if it’s all been done before. On here though, it doesn’t, because it’s only 29 minutes long, and its execution is what keeps it fresh with each listen.



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
qwe3
December 3rd 2009



21355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

not completely happy with this but meh

Zoo
December 3rd 2009



3759 Comments


The review seemed alright to me minus some redundancy and awkward wording. I downloaded this off your blog last week, took a listen, and couldn't really get into it. I'll give it another shot.

qwe3
December 3rd 2009



21355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yeah thats what i thought too. anywhere in particular? im usually too long winded

jingledeath
December 3rd 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review dude, ep rules. Gonna listen to this and the woods of desolation ep back to back right now.

qwe3
December 3rd 2009



21355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

thanks man

Mordecai.
December 3rd 2009



8276 Comments


This looks great. Thought that was Sydney Harbour bridge at a glance. Great review too, totally agree with you about the artwork thing. Here's a rubber chicken!

Zip
December 3rd 2009



5312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I lurve this album so muuuuuuuuch, but the vocals are terrible

qwe3
December 3rd 2009



21355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i like the vocals. theyre pretty nasty but thats good. the fact that it's usually over some pretty post rock segment makes for a cool contrast aswell

jingledeath
December 3rd 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I lurve this album so muuuuuuuuch, but the vocals are terrible

hell no, vocals are awesome

Demonicgman
December 3rd 2009



417 Comments


In one grammatically and punctually correct sentence describe for me this album. The sentence can be no longer then 25 words.
You have 5 minutes, GO!

qwe3
December 3rd 2009



21355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

or you could read the review

Ulsufyring
December 3rd 2009



1724 Comments


neg

qwe3
December 3rd 2009



21355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

: (

Ulsufyring
December 3rd 2009



1724 Comments


Dom, I find your writing to be derivative bile. There is as little substance in your chlidish scribbling as the dreadful hyperbole put out by that Caleb McAlpine Forest character. Your arguments are contrived, ridiculous meanderings into empty thought and your opinions are the boasting of a blind toddler.

qwe3
December 3rd 2009



21355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

damn that Dom guy you're dissing must have written some real shit. Anyways what'd you think of my review?

:D

qwe3
December 3rd 2009



21355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

uh...?

Ulsufyring
December 3rd 2009



1724 Comments


review was


...

i didn't read it

qwe3
December 3rd 2009



21355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

fair enough, it's probably to hetero for you.

BURRRRNNNNNNN

Ulsufyring
December 3rd 2009



1724 Comments


too*

qwe3
December 3rd 2009



21355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

fuck. that's what you get when you stay up late i suppose. gonna leave that typo in so your correction makes sense



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