HIPPOTRAKTOR: Belgian Progressive Post-Metal Quintet To Release Stasis LP Through Pelagic Records June 7th; “Silver Tongue” Video Now Playing + Preorders Available

Photo by Sam Coussens

Balanced precisely between the sublime majesty of nature’s grandeur and the tumultuous chaos that is our own existence, Mechelen, Belgium-based HIPPOTRAKTOR returns with Stasis, the formidable sequel to their breathtaking 2021 debut full-length, Meridian.

Refining their distinctive grasp of groove, progressive and post-metal further still, these progenies of the Belgian heavy music scene have crafted another set of soaring, searing anthems that dig ever deeper into HIPPOTRAKTOR’s fascination with humanity and philosophy. Kaleidoscopic and grand, Stasis documents the turmoil of human nature through explosive riffs and treacherous grooves from a band of tight-knit musicians and close friends, confident in their collective abilities to push their artistry in exciting new directions.

Originally a three-piece instrumental outfit consisting of Mechelen-based producer, songwriter, and guitarist Chiaran Verheyden, bassist Jakob Fiszer and Lander De Nyn on drums, HIPPOTRAKTOR finally found its stride with the permanent introduction of guitarist/vocalist Sander Rom (L’Itch) and percussionist/vocalist Stefan De Graef (Psychonaut) in 2021. The combination of Verheyden’s impressionistic songwriting ambitions and De Graef’s powerful, narrative-charged lyrics proved to be a golden combination on Meridian, which masterfully transformed the band’s disparate instrumental compositions into a singular, driving work of captivating sonic fiction.

Stasis consists of seven compositions that were written with the full palette of five powerful musicians in mind. The result of this is a lavish, rich sound with dynamic complexities and a multilayered structure that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Operating at the intersection of Meshuggah’s relentless, polyrhythmic pounding and Gojira’s colossal atmospheric weight, HIPPOTRAKTOR expands upon their already distinctive sound by introducing De Graef’s vocals and harmonies that bring with them an intriguing new dedication to musical storytelling.

Stasis tells a story of human nature,” explains De Graef about the album’s narrative, which continues where Meridian left us. “As the main character enters a new world in which he is confronted with other humans for the first time, he acquaints himself with their customs and ethics, discovering generosity and empathy, but also greed, jealousy and hatred.” Rather than chronologically, the story unfolds in retrospection as our protagonist looks back upon his life among his kin, his struggle with good and evil, and his fight against the stasis of living a selfish, amoral life.

Stasis sits at the forefront of an alluring new movement in progressive metal; one that focuses on storytelling as part of the song writing process. These seven songs take listeners on a turbulent journey of unbridled emotion; a wild succession of sentiment and sensation that will blindside you with every listen. From the glorious and propulsive opening of “Echoes” to the sparkling, melodic density of “Silver Tongue,” Stasis is a terrifying tale built on syncopated rhythms and raw vocal energy. Elsewhere, soothing passages like the bridge of “Renegade” or the intro to “The Indifferent Human Eye” offer a rare opportunity to rest, before the beautiful barrage continues, undeterred.

Taken from the Greek for “stoppage,” Stasis sees HIPPOTRAKTOR doing anything but stagnating. These five firm friends weave intricate melodies and sprawling riffs as a map to chart how humanity has come of age in a chaotic world of our own making. Deftly unveiling tender truths whilst tenderly shrouding the violent majesty at its core, Stasis is a fitting soundtrack to life in a world that’s hurtling towards a stand still.

Watch the video for HIPPOTRAKTOR’s “Silver Tongue” at THIS LOCATION.

Stasis will be released on CD, gatefold LP, and all digital platforms on June 7th. Find preorders at THIS LOCATION.

Fans of Gojira, Meshuggah, Textures, Psychonaut, Uneven Structure, Tesseract, and Herod, don’t miss HIPPOTRAKTOR’s Stasis.

Stasis Track Listing:

  1. Descent
  2. Echoes
  3. Silver Tongue
  4. Renegade
  5. The Indifferent Human Eye
  6. Stasis
  7. The Reckoning

Stefan de Graef – vocals
Jakob Fiszer – bass
Chiaran Verheyden – guitar
Lander De Nyn – drums
Sander Rom – guitar/vocals