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Bedsore – Hypnagogic Hallucinations

Hypnagogic Hallucinations
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 11 July 2020, 10:42 AM

BEDSORE is a death metal band from Rome and “Hypnagogic Hallucinations,” is their full length debut; they released a demo in 2018.  Although they have many of the hallmarks of the genre, and even have a lot of black metal to their sound as well, “Hypnagogic Hallucinations” quite a bit different than most death metal albums I’ve heard this year because.  Much like the latest album from COSMIC PURIFICATION, this album is filled with an otherworldly atmosphere.  At times, it sounds completely alien, almost as if I’m hearing some long lost cosmic language.

That is only half of the experience though.  Despite how far out there it can sound, it also has a very raw, earthy feel to it.  Perhaps it isn’t so alien but rather a distorted version of the world we live in, twisted and torn into near unimaginable images.   As such, the albums title is completely well named because if sleep hallucinations had a soundtrack then I don’t see why BEDSORE couldn’t be the one writing it.

But I don’t want anyone to take what I’ve said thus far the wrong way.  This is hypnotic music, sure, but not in a stoner rock/doom sort of way.  There is no haze or sleepy passages to be found among the album’s seven tracks and forty minute runtime.  This is extreme metal after all and the band makes sure that is very obvious.  Rather, it is more of a surreal experience of being on the outside looking in at something you don’t recognize but yet you feel like you should.

The opening track “The Gate, Disclosure,” is an intro but the structure is full length and it really is a song unto itself even while it gears the rest of the album up.  The synths, organs, and keys swirl together as one, reforming as an alien landscape. This is a creepy and anxious track, riddled with an unsettling mood.

This continues as it flows into the next track, “The Gate, Closure (Sarcoptes Obitus).”  The riffs have that classic death metal tone to them and the lead guitar fully envelopes those riffs in its style and mood, setting the stage for another horror drenched song that sounds as different as it is blistering.  The vocals remind me of the higher pitched, more depraved variations of CHUCK SCHULDINER.  These death wails are tailor made for the music they reside upon for a very complete song that fully absorbs all the attention.  The ending fades out with clean instrumentation that recalls the previous intro, fusing the songs together as one big package.

Deathgazer,” is a burner of a track and much more straight forward than what came before.  It isn’t any less effective at delivering the punishing emotions that have already emanated from the album.  Tightly controlled, fast riffs lend the song a constant feeling of climax that made my blood pressure feel like it was rising.  This sensational climax doesn’t decrease so much as it just obliterates anything left in front of it.

Next we come to “At The Mountains Of Madness,” which is my favorite on the album and yet another time the band chose a perfect title.  To listen to this song, especially in the dark with decent headphones, is to feel like your own sanity is slipping away but you continue to be aware of this.  I akin it to the feeling of having a nightmare and knowing you are in it but yet there is nothing you can do to escape.  The first minute and a half or so is lighter, more ambient tones that recall trying to sleep as you begin to black out.  Just as you realize you can no longer fight, you are locked away into a nightmare realm.  The bass is the demon that sends its hounds of guitar and vocals after you but you are pushed further away from safety no matter what you do.  The middle part of the song is crushing yet subtle in its melodies until the guitar solo breaks it all open. Perhaps this part is when you realize what is going on and you try to escape?  Either way, you aren’t going to make it since the song’s last two minutes is the fade out of your mind’s demise.

Cauliflower Growth,” is one part unrelenting destruction and two parts somber mood mixed with despair.  The first minute or so serves as a heavy intro for the keys/synths to lay down a seething underbelly of sickening tones.  The guitar and bass is there, lurking underneath the surface and come out to take the occasional bite before going for the throat once more.  The guitar solos blends in well to the insane vocals  near the song’s end before it all fades to the blackest void.

Disembowelment Of The Souls (Tabanidae),” consists of a gray washed melodic overture that is taken over by the guitars right before the one minute mark.  The passage that follows after is very similar to the darkest parts of doom, specially the suffocating atmosphere of funeral doom.  The guitar pulls the song out of the muck but into brighter skies it does not venture forth to.  The melodic bass at the song’s end caps it all off nicely.

And last, but not least, we have the gory titled “Brains On The Tarmac.”  The beginning is actually strangely moving but that is rushed into pieces by the drums which help the bass hammer in these brutal riffs. The song gets incredibly fast as it goes along but still retains that ever slight use of melody, that just barely brushes against the darkness. This fury is pushed aside for a psychedelic movement that raised the hair off my arms, so cold and destitute are the sounds conjured forth.  Surviving it means little, as the return of the death metal signifies final destruction.

BEDSORE’s “Hypnagogic Hallucinations,” is a death metal album built on top of many layers that reveal a different nightmare as they are peeled back.  Considering how young this band is, this full length debut is extremely impressive and promising.  If they can harness their sound and find a way to go even further into the void’s reaches, while still keeping their death/black roots, then they will become even more of a force to be reckoned with.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Gate, Disclosure (Intro)
2. The Gate, Closure (Sarcoptes Obitus)
3. Deathgazer
4. At The Mountains Of Madness
5. Cauliflower Growth
6. Disembowelment Of The Souls (Tabanidae)
7. Brains On The Tarmac
Jacopo Gianmaria Pepe – Vocals, Guitars, Synths
Stefano Allegretti – Vocals, Guitars, Organ and Keyboards
Giulio Rimoli – Bass
Davide Itri - Drums
Record Label: 20 Buck Spin


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