Review Summary: Hypno5e prove that their unique style of ambient metal can bring creativity back to the music world.
France has provided us with quality metal the last few years: Gojira, Gorod, Blut Aus Nord, the list goes on. One band has been around just as long as these bands, but hardly anyone in the USA knew of them before they were announced to headline the Music as Art tour. Formed in 2003, they released their debut album "Des Deux L'une Est L'autre" in 2007. After listening to just a few minutes of their album on their myspace, I immediately downloaded the album. Hypno5e is a very unique band, combining the polyrhythm techniques of bands like Hacride and Textures, along with very deep ambient sections filled with voice clips. Their songs stray into BTBAM territory, with 3 songs on this album going past 10 minutes. I know, the thought of ambient + 10 minutes is terrifying, but Hypno5e makes it interesting.
"Des Deux L'une Est L'autre" is a beast meant to be listened to in one listen. Although some songs such as "Maintained Relevance of Destruction Pt. 1" and "Daybreak At Slaughterhouse" work very well on their own, the album shines when put together as one furious entity. As with most ambient bands, the band is best experienced live, putting together an atmosphere that is unique. They get the lights, backgrounds, and put it to excellent use in their shows. If you missed them on the Metal as Art tour, chances are you won't get the chance to see them for a very long time.
The beginning of the album is a two parter, "Maintained Relevance of Destruction". The album begins with light ambient sounds and then kicks it into overdrive with riffage. All musicians show their talent here, with Emmanuel Jessua (who is also the vocalist) and Jeremie Lautier kicking you in the face with their guitars. Drummer/sampler Thibault Lamy thoroughly impresses with his skill at the drums and makes them work effectively throughout the ambient and heavy parts. Their bassist, known as Gredin, absolutely shreds, and you can actually hear the bass over the guitar. Daybreak at Slaughterhouse is the single of the album, and for good reason. It clearly has the most memorable riffs of the album, but at 9:40, it's not a hit and run. The song progressively pounds its way into your skull, moving between ambient and heavy sections throughout the song. This is also where the vocals are top notch, Jessua's screaming is a force to be reckoned with and his singing during the ambient parts furthers the mood of the piece. It's also during this song where we understand why they call themselves "a video concept band". This song was made to paint a moving picture, which is why they made a video for it! Watching the video certainly makes the alot more atmospheric. I highly recommend watching it after listening to the entire album.
Next on the album, we are given the song with the strange title "H492053". Comprised of mostly ambient sections, we are treated to a polyrhythm fest in the middle of the song. Aside from background clean vocals during the ambient sections, there are no vocals to be had on this one. The album progresses to the "The Hole" which gives us various French voice clips and some nice keyboards to listen to. We get a combination of singing and screaming during the metal of the song, which is a rather nice touch. Aside from the vocals, the instrumentation reminded me a bit of Gojira, which I'm sure is not a coincidence. Hypno5e always put their own flavor on everything they do though, so it certainly is unique. This song is followed up by another long song, "Scarlet Fever", however, they do not drag out or feel boring whatsoever. At this point in the album, I was convinced that they band would do an excellent job even if they cut all of their ambient parts out. Don't get me wrong, they are absolutely essential to the band's unique sound as it is, but they would do quite well as a Gojira-Hacride type band.
"Tutuguri" is probably the most brutal song on the album. Aside from a few short ambient sections and some voice clips, the song is mostly Jessua and Lautier pushing out excellent riff after another. The album then goes into it's second two parter, "Naked Lunch". The first part is the longest song on the album, clocking in at almost 12 minutes, and it's almost entirely ambient. However, the song is one of the most interesting on the album, putting the sampling and electronic sounds to good use, proving that if they wanted to, Hypno5e could pretty much be any genre they want to be, as is obvious on "Naked Lunch II" which sounds very much like Horse the Band, combining electronic sounds with heavy guitar riffs. The last song is "Remords Posthumes", it works efficiently closing off the album with some chatter in the background with some keyboards.
Hypno5e say that their style is the future of metal. If this becomes true, then I look forward to the high amount of creativity and technicality in future metal bands. The very opposite could very well take place, and we could all be listening to the latest core style named after a sea creature. But Hypno5e gives me hope for now at least, that you can always find something new and exciting in music.
All Of It.