And the Void Shall Pierce Their Eyes Noise, Metal Hypsiphrone Hypsiphrone's debut release, 'And the Void Shall Pierce Their Eyes' doesn't fall neatly into a particular genre. It combines elements of black metal, noise, dark ambient, and drone into a Gnosticism-themed soundscape of horror. The album opens with droning guitar and synth tracks, then quickly cuts into black metal-inspired drumbeats and howling vocals beneath noisy, slowly pulsing layers of distorted sound. Throughout the album, this theme appears over and again: layers of distorted drones are occasionally punctuated and disrupted by drums or bass riffs that come seemingly out of nowhere to remind you of the black metal influences present here. A one-person outfit from Greece, Hypsiphrone takes their name from the Nag Hammadi text regarding a woman of the same name. There is a lot to like about 'And the Void Shall Pierce Their Eyes'. The female vocals on "An Epiphany Written in Blood" and "Cornucopia Saluti" and "Her Name is Upon the Graves of Those She Slays" are just below the surface of the mix and demand the listener's attention, but often elude comprehension, which creates a disturbing effect that fits well here. Throughout the release, where vocals appear, they're often distant, sometimes intelligible, sometimes growling. The harsh drone and feedback layers are well done, disturbing, and give a feel of continuity to the entire album. The use of real instruments lends an authentic, organic feel to the music, which is often lacking in some noise-oriented releases, particularly in tracks like "Worlds are Wounds of Desolation" and "Her Name is Upon the Graves of Those She Slays". Overall, the blending of elements from these diverse genres comes together well here. I kept coming back to the word "Void" in the album title: much of what's here gives the listener a sense that they're alone in a dark, vast abyss filled with evil just beyond your grasp. At the same time, though, there are some things I don't find enthralling about this debut. The use of samples on"Resurgence of Mors Sexualis" and "Cornucopia Saluti" isn't as effective as the underlying music. On "Resurgence of Mors Sexualis", the samples would work better further down in the mix, bringing them just to punctuate the theme of necrophilia. For "Cornucopia Saluti" the problem with the sampling is a little different. Decades of cheesy CD's featuring sounds of thunderstorms and oceans for people to fall asleep or have sex to have largely ruined thunderstorm and rain samples, so anyone using thunder or rain samples needs to make sure they're integrated well into the mix. Also, in some of the tracks, a particular sound doesn't quite work; the closing track "Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit" has one some of the best metal and doom riffs on the album, but also has a high howling vocal that reminds me of a ghost from an old episode of Scooby Doo; the vocal might work in another context, but it's out of place here. Minor problems aside, Hypsiphrone has put together a solid genre-blending debut release of horror and bleakness. Noise, metal, harsh ambient, and drone are brought together, and it's good to see artists integrating different genres successfully. 350
Brutal Resonance

Hypsiphrone - And the Void Shall Pierce Their Eyes

6.0
"Alright"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2011 by Black Plagve
Hypsiphrone's debut release, 'And the Void Shall Pierce Their Eyes' doesn't fall neatly into a particular genre. It combines elements of black metal, noise, dark ambient, and drone into a Gnosticism-themed soundscape of horror. The album opens with droning guitar and synth tracks, then quickly cuts into black metal-inspired drumbeats and howling vocals beneath noisy, slowly pulsing layers of distorted sound. Throughout the album, this theme appears over and again: layers of distorted drones are occasionally punctuated and disrupted by drums or bass riffs that come seemingly out of nowhere to remind you of the black metal influences present here.

A one-person outfit from Greece, Hypsiphrone takes their name from the Nag Hammadi text regarding a woman of the same name. There is a lot to like about 'And the Void Shall Pierce Their Eyes'. The female vocals on "An Epiphany Written in Blood" and "Cornucopia Saluti" and "Her Name is Upon the Graves of Those She Slays" are just below the surface of the mix and demand the listener's attention, but often elude comprehension, which creates a disturbing effect that fits well here. Throughout the release, where vocals appear, they're often distant, sometimes intelligible, sometimes growling. The harsh drone and feedback layers are well done, disturbing, and give a feel of continuity to the entire album.

The use of real instruments lends an authentic, organic feel to the music, which is often lacking in some noise-oriented releases, particularly in tracks like "Worlds are Wounds of Desolation" and "Her Name is Upon the Graves of Those She Slays". Overall, the blending of elements from these diverse genres comes together well here. I kept coming back to the word "Void" in the album title: much of what's here gives the listener a sense that they're alone in a dark, vast abyss filled with evil just beyond your grasp.

At the same time, though, there are some things I don't find enthralling about this debut. The use of samples on"Resurgence of Mors Sexualis" and "Cornucopia Saluti" isn't as effective as the underlying music. On "Resurgence of Mors Sexualis", the samples would work better further down in the mix, bringing them just to punctuate the theme of necrophilia. For "Cornucopia Saluti" the problem with the sampling is a little different. Decades of cheesy CD's featuring sounds of thunderstorms and oceans for people to fall asleep or have sex to have largely ruined thunderstorm and rain samples, so anyone using thunder or rain samples needs to make sure they're integrated well into the mix. Also, in some of the tracks, a particular sound doesn't quite work; the closing track "Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit" has one some of the best metal and doom riffs on the album, but also has a high howling vocal that reminds me of a ghost from an old episode of Scooby Doo; the vocal might work in another context, but it's out of place here.

Minor problems aside, Hypsiphrone has put together a solid genre-blending debut release of horror and bleakness. Noise, metal, harsh ambient, and drone are brought together, and it's good to see artists integrating different genres successfully.
Feb 26 2012

Karl Middlebrooks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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