Interest has slowly been building for this post-black metal fourpiece since their formation in 2010, so it’s only natural that their debut release Hyperion is being eagerly anticipated – and it absolutely delivers from start to finish.
It all begins with Conquer All, with a dark-sounding introduction that swiftly builds up atmosphere before the guitars kick in and the vocals follow. It’s one of those tracks that feels made to open an album with, a humongous affair that shows off the band’s capabilities and hints at what’s about to come with the rest of the album. The keys/synthesised lines in particular are an extremely good touch.
None is the absolute highlight of the album, however. The guitars at the beginning is an earworm that’s impossible to shake and sound so wonderfully heavy that you can’t help but want to bang your head along to. The vocals on this one are extremely powerful and forceful, and a really good element of this song is the quieter and stripped-back section that features spoken vocals. It divides the track up perfectly before bringing the noise again and going out with a bang. Phenomenal stuff.
An interesting inclusion is Honey In The Lion. Featuring some beautifully played piano and lasting for less than a minute and a half, it’s a great piece of work but it does sit in a rather odd place on the album and feels a little out-of-place; it possibly would have worked better as an outro or as a track placed right in the middle of the album as a divider.
Hyperion ends triumphantly with Elevated Existence and it’s like the album has come full circle, with this track feeling like it would lead rather nicely into the opening track again – although what better way to end an album by making the listener want to go back to the beginning and start again?
Woland are onto a winner with Hyperion because it’s the right mix of everything and it makes for an incredibly formidable release. When they wind up being huge, don’t say we didn’t warn you!