Album Premiere: Hypno5e – “A Distant (Dark) Source

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Does the combination of the words “French cinematic technical post-metal collective” excite you when recited in that exact sequence? What about “Pelagic records?” If you do find your nether regions tingling at this very hour, you’ll be wanting to step right in.

I’ll admit I had never listened to Hypno5e before being given the chance to tackle their upcoming full-length, A Distant (Dark) Source, despite seeing the name thrown around a few times. Their description seemed most interesting, but not without the risk of a catastrophe, but being a man of some faith—faith in the good people of Pelagic Records that is—I decided to brave the odds and dive in headlong.

The quartet’s fifth full-length follows in the wake of an acoustic special album, and is meant to further merge contemporary metal music with Latin folk and film-score soundscapes seamlessly into ten- or twenty-minute compositions. It’s also the second part of a coming diptych, though the first to be uncovered. It presents an inward journey to the land of the ghosts of the past, the origin of which lies in Tauca, an old Paleolithic lake located in Bolivia that disappeared over 15,000 years ago. It left behind an arid land and salt lakes, like the Salt Desert of Uyuni or Coipasa, at 4.500m of altitude in the Andes mountain range, where singer and guitarist Emmanuel Jessua grew up and continues to find inspiration for his musical endeavors. Oh yes.

A Distant (Dark) Source only actually features one track over the length of ten minutes, as the rest have been cut to three separate tracks each. Otherwise Hypno5e delivers on their promises, with heavy, rhythmic delivery akin to the likes of Cult of Luna and The Ocean Collective, who the band occasionally veers close to with their well-used and well-placed clean vocals as well, but in a much more embellished and elaborate guise. At its heaviest and grooviest, A Distant (Dark) Source isn’t far off from the territory of Gojira (see album highlight “A Distant (Dark) Source Part II”), and at its most technical, the songs are reminiscent of Between The Buried and Me, though coming off from a post-metal platform instead of a prog metal one. Progressive perhaps, but never prog.

But it’s the folk- and film music influences, their lack of regard for conventional song structures and means of storytelling that embraces both halves of the term “cinematic metal” and sets them apart from their peers, and very much everyone else as well.

Being so newly acquainted with the band, no description that I can offer seems adequate to illustrate the intricacies of A Distant (Dark) Source and so I encourage you to give Hypno5e a chance, regardless of how you’ve been made to feel about them so far.

Look for A Distant (Dark) Source on Pelagic Records tomorrow, the 22nd of November, and visit them on Facebook, or their own homepage. Pre-orders available for North America, Europe, Australia and digital.

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