Hissing
Hypervirulence Architecture


3.5
great

Review

by Fernando Alves STAFF
July 16th, 2022 | 16 replies


Release Date: 07/15/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blackened engineering

I've been awaiting the reappearance of Seattle-based dissonant collective Hissing with some anticipation. The trio's 2018 debut full-length release, Permanent Destitution, made a positive impression on me for basically two main reasons: it was around this time that I dove deeper into dissonant waters and, obviously, for its intrinsic attributes. These factors - novelty and quality, when combined, trigger an inner mechanism more susceptible to new musical experiences, amplifying and enhancing them. The band's Portal(ish) formula, which, in their own words, seeks to explore the inhuman outer limits of black and death metal, while not entirely original, successfully embodies a dissonant hybrid approach that has been gaining traction for some years now. As a matter of fact, the style is now so widespread and embedded in the various extreme metal sub-genres that it has become an all too familiar face, fully impregnated in their genetic codes; almost institutionalized. Hissing's sophomore studio album, Hypervirulence Architecture, thus presents itself as an old acquaintance in a recognizable outfit. Its hybrid character that orbits black and death metal is still very much present, but now with a somewhat more pronounced differentiation. While the first two cuts, 'Cells of Nonbeing' and 'Hostile Absurdity', feature an OSDM vibe through their filthy, cavernous tremolo picking, the last two mirror a more dissonant blackened Portal-esque tone, closer to the black arts. Although there's obviously a space in between, where the band's creative core lies, I couldn't help but feel this slight stylistic contrast.

The trio clearly move at ease and within their comfort zone. The stable lineup and established identity provide solid foundations for the music to flow smoothly and confidently. The constant crescendos and tempo variations, though not surprising, ensure the proper dynamics while lending an organic flavor to some segments, such as the drumming in 'Operant Extinction' which operates freely over the ambient soundscape. The psychedelic-ish title track also emphasizes this more atmospheric side, simultaneously spawning a midway pit stop that lets you catch your breath before diving back into the blackened downward spiral. Hypervirulence Architecture is thus a journey of subtle contrasts that avoids overly stagnant territory. Yet despite its dynamic and tangible virtues, it rarely catapults us into truly memorable dimensions, somehow failing to surpass its predecessor convincingly. Something that surprised me since the band had, and still has, some margin for progression. Both Zach Wise's bold bass lines (complemented by Sam Pickel's loose, dynamic drumming) and the album's overwhelming cavernous sections are indicators that point in the right direction. Building blocks if properly cemented will not only strengthen Hissing's sound but also grant it a more distinct and charismatic personality.

Although Hypervirulence Architecture doesn't (yet) have what it takes to put the trio at the top of the food chain, it doesn't relegate them to lower divisions either. It's a solid sequel that, while not a resounding triumph, does unveil some interesting ingredients that could lead to greater creative success in the future. In the meantime, extreme metallers and connoisseurs of blackened engineering should not sleep on it, as it is synonymous with dissonant fun.




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user ratings (30)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2022


18108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Solid, for lack of a better word.



Full stream:

http://hissingseattle.bandcamp.com/album/hypervirulence-architecture

http://youtu.be/CNJm_ftAmoo



Upcoming gigs

07/15 – Portland, OR @ High Water Mark (w/Human Effluence)

07/16 – Oakland, CA @ Elbo Room Jack London (w/Human Effluence)

(w/SUFFERING HOUR, AEVITERNE)

09/01 – Toronto, ON @ The Baby G

09/02 – Montreal, QC @ Turbo Haüs

09/03 – Portland, ME @ Apohadion Theater

09/04 – New Haven, CT @ The Beeracks

09/06 – Boston, MA @ Middle East

09/07 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus

09/08 – Philadelphia, PA @ MilkBoy

09/09 – Washington, D.C. @ Pie Shop

09/10 – Chesapeake, VA @ Riffhouse Pub

Gyromania
July 16th 2022


35209 Comments


kind of chuckled at "hiss" being in the trending albums section

Pon
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2022


5873 Comments


Bet this gnarly

Sharenge
July 18th 2022


2656 Comments


"blackened"

that's like a Cajun thing, right?

DePlazz
July 18th 2022


3829 Comments


Very nice read, might check this out

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2022


18108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers DePlazz. If you dig Portal(ish) stuff, give it a spin.



"blackened"

that's like a Cajun thing, right?



If you're referring to its etymological origin, I don't have a clue.

Pon
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2022


5873 Comments


This sorta reminds me of Malthusian but I don't think these guys are as good as songwriters

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2022


18108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think the lads still have room for improvement and to take on a more distinctive identity. Next time I'd like to see them exploring more cavernous territory, as on the first two tracks. I love their sound, nevertheless.



Gotta check Malthusian.

Azog
July 18th 2022


860 Comments


And the Lord said, let there be murk. And lo and behold, there was murk. And the Lord heard that it was gnarly.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2022


28863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

This was good but felt kinda average, nothing really stood out. Gnarly murk in spades for sure but can't see any difference with any other murky gnarly band these days.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2022


18108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, the band needs to add a more distinctive layer to their sound but it's still a solid jam.



Amen, Azog

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2022


17751 Comments


The singles I've heard from this are solid. Comparatively does this fare better as a complete piece?

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2022


18108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There's a slight differentiation between the two halves of the album, despite the hybrid style - the first more OSDM and the second more Portal(ish). Something that adds interest to the full listening.

Pon
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2022


5873 Comments


"Comparatively does this fare better as a complete piece?"

Worse. I dig the aesthetic but there isn't much direction.

canczar
July 21st 2022


102 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love hissing. Their last record was a crusher and this one is awesome too. Love these guys

pizzamachine
July 23rd 2022


19498 Comments


Good review, STAFF is hard



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