BrooklynVegan is currently streaming Meridian, the debut full-length from Belgian progressive/post-metal outfit HIPPOTRAKTOR, in its enthralling entirety. The premiere comes in advance of the record’s official release this Friday, October 15th via Pelagic Records.
By combining the big, catchy riffs and the rhythmical prowess of Gojira with the relentless but equally groove-loaded complexity of Meshuggah, Meridian delivers an overwhelming experience of sound, presenting the listener with sentiments that are recognisable, but with an intensity that seems larger-than-life.
Writes BrooklynVegan, “The album is split between aggressive, hardcore-informed sludge metal and tech-y progressive rock, sounding like a cross between Blue Record-era Baroness and Tool. It’s an exciting blend.”
“Meridian finds its origin in everyday moods, taken out of context and morphed into a stylized version that reflects the dreamer in me,” explains HIPPOTRAKTOR primary songwriter and guitarist Chiaran Verheyden. “It tells the story of someone who’s lost in a world too massive to comprehend, and seeks answers in places where none can be found. Meridian was written as an attempt to distillate what I felt but couldn’t put into words.
“We’re beyond excited to release Meridian into the world. This was such a massive project to record, especially in difficult times like the past year and a hald. This album is what kept us sane and gave us perspective. We can’t wait to hear what people think of it and to present this album live in its entirety soon.”
Stream HIPPOTRAKTOR’s Meridian via BrooklynVegan at THIS LOCATION.
HIPPOTRAKTOR’s Meridian will be released on CD, LP, and digital formats. Find preorders at THIS LOCATION.
Ever since the release of their acclaimed debut EP P’eau (2018) this Mechelen-based ensemble of musicians have been honing their craft in songwriting and production, building a new home studio to record future material while also expanding from a three-piece to a five-piece ensemble. By adding singer/percussionist Stefan De Graef (Psychonaut) and guitarist/singer Sander Rom (L’Itch) to their ranks, HIPPOTRAKTOR has become a more versatile outfit able to employ a broader palette of sounds, taking the band’s earlier instrumental prog metal sound to new heights. Taking notes from the best moments in contemporary progressive and post metal, HIPPOTRAKTOR captures the awe-inspiring power of nature – from the delicacy of the first falling leaf to the massive cosmic energy of the sun.
“HIPPOTRAKTOR are a band from Belgium who make the sort of thunderous prog-metal that sounds like it was forged at the peak of a mountaintop. Chiseling riffs, drums that hit hard enough to cause an avalanche and vocals that alternate between soaring and roaring – the sort of singing one does before a battle against flaming dragon beasts.” – Revolver
“…a fine organic blend of groove metal, sludge, post metal, and progressive metal, which ultimately shines by utilizing a forward-thinking delivery. You get all the crushing riffs and hypnotic grooves, as well as a strong rhythmic section, good melodies, and, of course, the contrast made by the clean and screamed vocals.” – Everything Is Noise
“The expanded band seems to have an edge here; able to sustain dense soundscapes somewhere between The Ocean, Meshugguh and Tool – if we are to dip ‘mainstream’ – showcased perfectly on strong single, ‘God Is In The Slumber’ and the brilliant ‘Juncture,’ at which point some insane guitar-work begins to really stand out on the album… exciting, proggy, heavy… an epic record.” – Veil Of Sound
Stefan De Graef – vocals, percussion
Sander Rom – vocals, guitar
Lander De Nyn – drums
Jakob Fiszer – bass
Chiaran Verheyden – guitar