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Hypnos: Hypnos

Retro doomsters don’t manage to relive the horror

Any band recording their debut must first ask: “Are we doing something new, and if not, are we at least breathing new life into an old style?”

Otherwise, what’s the point of leaving the snug familiarity of the weekend pub circuit? Hypnos are a beardy, denim-clad quintet charging hard into the heart of the crowded fray of 70s revivalism. Channelling the spooky posturing of proto-metal pioneers like Pentagram, Nightmares and The Mountain showcase clustered, high-octane rhythms banging noisily beneath bluesy arena rock solos, all awash in lyrics of evil and madness, as if culled straight from the pages of Lovecraft. Hypnos delivers eight well-crafted, if reverential, forays into the spooky recesses of 70s doom. Breakneck tempos and flashes of psychedelia abound, yet frustratingly absent is the nihilistic abandon or acute desperation that invigorated the original style. What remains is a serviceable clutch of generic retro-rock that one will be hard pressed to recall soon after the album is done.

Via Crusher