Review Summary: Is that the sun? Probably not....
Evoken is a name all fans of funeral doom should know. One of the most consistent bands in the genre for the past 25 years, Evoken is still a force to be reckoned with. These guys have always been kind of different from other funeral doom bands in my opinion. Where other bands take you directly into the eye of a deep and dark abyss almost immediately, Evoken has always had a twinkle to them. What I mean by that is there are times where they will almost sound positive, like everything will be alright before crushing your hopes and dreams with the distinct darkness that only funeral doom can. This is Hypnagogia.
If you know nothing about this genre, it is based on very long and very slow and drawn out riffs backed with hellish vocals that sound like Satan himself. Think of a traditional doom sound that is on prescription pills for severe depression and that might give you an idea of what you’re getting into. This album in particular has a different sound than Evoken has had in the past. Their last album Atra Mors
was pretty much devoid of light with no hope for escape. A black hole that is impossible to break free from no matter how hard you try. That’s not the case with Hypnagogia.
Evoken would rather reel you in with the thought of a happy ending to this adventure. Some of the riffs here are, dare I say, pretty while still retaining the inevitable sense of dread and despair.
Don’t be fooled by the positivity though friends, they’re going to rip out your heart just as you start to feel comfortable. Claustrophobia might set in, but that’s okay, you’ll get used to the feeling eventually. As you figure out and descend into the eye of the storm that is Hypnagogia,
and really Evoken’s discography in general, you’ll come to peace with the fact that you’re about to meet the sweet release of death. And that is exactly how funeral doom is supposed to make you feel.