After the ambitious A Distant (Dark) Source (2018) and the subsequent artistic triumph of its live recording in 2021, French avant-garde metal outfit HYPNO5E returns with their sixth studio album, Sheol, set for release on February 24th via Pelagic Records.
Once more, these four visionary musicians and cinematographers take us back to the lost shores of the Paleolithic Lake Tauca, where we dive deeper into its dark source to find vibrant visions of a memory both distant and hazy as well as warm and evocative. Sheol shows HYPNO5E at the top of their game, revealing the epitome of their idiosyncratic sound while also exploring new and exciting aspects of their artistic identity.
“In the Hebrew Bible, Sheol is the place where all souls meet after their death, to remain in silence and to turn to dust once more,” explains main songwriter Emmanuel Jessua about the album title. It is the distant dark source as described on the band’s previous record – a thrilling seventy-minute long magnum opus which saw the band conjure up a night on the old shores of the lake, following a man looking for the ghost of a woman he loved. “Sheol is the story of what was before that night,” continues Jessua. “The two albums are built, like the myth of Sysyphus, in a cycle. Sheol begins where A Distant (Dark) Source ends and A Distant (Dark) Source ends where Sheol begins.”
In advance of Sheol’s official release, today the band unveils a video for “Sheol – Part II – Lands Of Haze,” now playing at Metal Injection.
Notes the band, “The video clip for “Sheol Part II…” was shot in Mont Ventoux in the south of France during a cold, intense stormy night with much rain and fog; perfect for the mood and tone of the track. We chose this place specifically because of its distinctive landscape that looks like another planet, full of desolation and life – making the scenery incredibly poetic.”
View HYPNO5E’s “Sheol Part II” at Metal Injection HERE.
HYPNO5E’s Sheol will be released on CD, LP, and digital formats. Find preorders at THIS LOCATION.
Since 2006, HYPNO5E have been taking grand strides in honing their brand of cinematographic metal, with each of their albums developing elements that would become essential building blocks to their sound. Their 2007 debut album Des Deux l’Une Est l’Autre harnessed a raw, chaotic energy, while the following Acid Mist Tomorrow (2012) saw them apply a hazy flter to their ferocious sound. On Shores Of The Abstract Line (2015), HYPNO5E already transformed into the true modern metal grandmasters they are today, while the special soundtrack album Alba -Les Ombres Errantes explored a more subdued acoustic side of the band.
In many ways, Sheol refers to the band’s previous album, but this record sees them take their musical endeavors one step further in terms of consistency and musical density.Once more, the band delivers drawn-out compositions that marry angular modern metal rifs with massive grooves and layers of evocative vocals. Once more, the music is haunted by hair-raising string sections — this time provided by a veritable string trio! — and bloodcurdling percussive rim clicks. Once more, the band revels in a superbly curated selection of poets reading excerpts of their own work — most notably César Vallejo, Jean Cocteau, and Anne Sexton. Tauca Pt. 1 – Another shakes your hand like an old friend while album opener Nowhere hearkens back to A Distant Dark Source Pt. 1 with its eerie high guitar leads.
Sheol sees the band sounding warmer and brighter than anywhere else in their storied discography, and the arrival of new drummer Pierre Rettien and bass player Charles Villanueva adds a fresh touch the classic HYPNO5E sound. The sweeping finales of “Lands Of Haze” and “The Dreamer And His Dream” as well as the pastoral qualities of the quiet finger-picked parts on “Bone Dust” and “Lava From The Sky” hearken back to the old prog rock records of the ‘70s, albeit with an updated sonic palette and modern production parameters. Besides, these eight tracks also see the band carefully exploring new patterns, shapes, and forms within their own musical universe: from the alternating use of ritardando and accelerando on the aforementioned rim-clicks to the increased employment of string sections and vocal harmonies.
With the addition of a whole new palette of warmer and brighter tones, HYPNO5E superbly bridge the sounds of the modern progressive metal and retro prog-movements creating an evocative sonic experience. Sheol is undoubtedly the band’s best work to date as it gives evidence of an undeniable strength in artistic vision.
Sheol Track Listing:
1. Sheol – Part I – Nowhere
2. Sheol – Part II – Lands Of Haze
3. Bone Dust
4. Tauca – Part I – Another
5. Lava From The Sky
6. The Dreamer And His Dream
7. Slow Steams of Darkness – Part I: Milluni
8. Slow Steams of Darkness – Part II: Solar Mist
Emmanuel Jessua – guitar, piano, charango, Portuguese guitar, vocals
Jonathan Maurois – guitars
Pierre Rettien – drums
Charles Villanueva – bass