Over their duration, French progressive metallers Hypno5e have always shown signs of innovation and grandeur, albeit alongside plenty of familiarity from the likely sources and stalwarts of the genre like Meshuggah and Cynic to name a couple. On third album Shores Of The Abstract Line (Pelagic Records) however, they have upped the ante and forged their own identity, in a cinematic fashion.
In some ways a continuation of the philosophical approach taken on their first two albums, Shores…conveys the dreamlike state where imagination and reality combine and clash, and sonically it matches in a suitably mesmeric, chaotic and disjointed fashion. Encompassing a range of styles from sheer technicality, to heavy, abrasive moments through to clean ambience; Shores…takes on a very frenetic nature of clashing styles and, in a similar fashion to Opeth can seamlessly flow from one extreme to another in an instance, whilst all the while still sounding fluid. Whilst it doesn’t weight itself down with trying to do too many styles of music in its mix, instead Shores…has a hypnotic use of sudden dynamic shifts which prove unpredictable.
Broken into following segments (or shores as they are entitled here), this is best enjoyed as a whole piece rather than individual songs; and thus lies the issue. At first it does prove an almost daunting experience, requiring full attention throughout before it begins to click. Give it time however, and Shores…proves an excellent and rich experience which proves that tech and progressive metal can actually prove to push the actual ‘prog’ notion and still create something unique. It may have taken a few albums in, but on number 3, Hypno5e have found their feet and pushed themselves, and it is something to behold.
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