Evoken – Hypnagogia

Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? If gothic atmosphere and moodiness is what you crave, Evoken have got you covered on Hypnagogia (Profound Lore). I mean this thing is moodier than a Type O Negative single on antidepressants while coping with self-image issues. All in all, if your wardrobe is as black as Ted Cruz’s heart and hobbies include strolling through cemeteries may I highly recommend Hypnagogia.

And possibly getting some sunlight from time to time.

For a band that fancies itself in producing Funeral Doom and Death Metal you want the melodrama and cold orchestration in the mix. But then again when does it become too much? I’m not against self-indulgence as I’ve attempted to consume over 140 ounces of beer in one sitting. The night may have ended in a battle with the toilet, but the buzz was great while it lasted, right?

Thoughts on alcohol poisoning aside, Evoken more often than not do find balance between crushing Metal roar and dreary soundscapes. After a bit of musical foreplay, ‘The Fear After’ gets to the business of pounding drums and sinister amplification. This sonic shellacking continues for a few minutes before making stop somewhere where Moonspell is happy to hang out at. This Autopsy by way of My Dying Bride songwriting continues through the treacherous woods of ‘Valorous Consternation.’ But I think the bet pays off best on the Goblin and Black Sabbath sublevel of hell that is the title track. It’s something perfectly suited for usage in a prime Dario Argento production.

Then the over reliance on atmosphere and faux orchestrations starts rearing its head. ‘Schadenfreude’ is drenched in spooky keyboards and whispered vocals for the better part of two minutes before guitars assert themselves and even then, it’s not with the strongest riffs. Fortunately, some leads and marching style drums come in late to provide sonic texture to the grey landscape. ‘Too Feign Ebullience’ also suffers from this inability to pull the trigger and indulging in some rather uninteresting spoken word passages. This is only compounded by the fact that it’s one of the longer cuts on the album.

Hypnagogia the album I suppose we deserve post-Halloween as we ready ourselves for another colorless autumn. The weird kids in the back are gonna love it.

6.0/10

HANS LOPEZ