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Hyperia – Silhouettes of Horror

Silhouettes of Horror
by Chris Hicklin at 06 May 2022, 11:35 AM

Formed in 2018 Calgary, Canada HYPERIA established themselves with their well-received 2020 full length debut “Insanitorium,” and have wasted no time in bringing us their sophomore self-released effort “Silhouettes of Horror”. They consider themselves Melodic Thrash Metal band, the label is accurate, as is their assertion that their sound could be considered Thrash for fans of UNLEASH THE ARCHERS. Their sound is a lot heavier than that of the ARCHERS, although that band used to employ a lot more aggressive vocals than they do now. The comparisons don’t stop there, similarly HYPERIA’S bedrock is that of a husband/wife team, and obviously they are also Canadian. Primarily though they bring the same epic soaring melodies and laser-precise guitar solos, but with a fundamentally more aggressive Thrash sound and grounded real-world lyrics that deal with government corruption and media maniuplation. The album cover is a doozy as well, classic Thrash Metal doodling, utilizing the skills of artist Andrei Bouzikov who has produced covers for MUNICIPAL WASTE amongst others.

Kicking off with a little horror movie themed intro we quickly arrive at “Hypnagogia,” I was expecting some melodic vocals to start proceedings, but instead we get a fast, aggressive riff from rhythm guitarist David Kupisz with full on Thrash metal screaming as Marlee Ryley lays down the law. It isn’t until the chorus that the full melodic strength of her vocals is revealed as she switches up guttural roars with pitch perfect harmonies. The rhythm section of bassist Scott Degruyter and hired-hand skin beater Gord Alexander is furious and attacking, Colin Ryley’s mini guitar leads litter the landscape and we are treated to an exceptional full-length solo as well. This is an absolute blast and quite a strong way to introduce this LP. From here the energy levels rarely dip at all as they rip through several more aural assaults, adding in a bit of groove in “Intoxication Therapy,” a song about burying yourself in booze, and conjuring an atmosphere of brooding psychological terror in “Experiment 77” which relates the experiences of the subject of hallucinogenic experimentation, and also happens to feature a mind blowing bass solo.

It's not all Thrash Thrash Thrash however, as “Severed” dials back the speed for a more considered intro with deep meaty riffs and rhythmic punctuation. It’s a setup though, as once we blast into the choruses this track becomes a Speed Metal banger. “Prisoner Of The Mind” shakes things up a little as well, having a big NWOBHM feel to it, and the guitars screaming 80s MAIDEN tones. I don’t know if title track “Silhouettes Of Horror” is a deliberate tip of the hat to MEGADETH, but certainly the riffs are dripping with Dave Mustaine vibes, as does the bass recall the clean fast picked delivery of Dave Ellefson. The original material wraps up with the longest song on the album “Pleonexia,” but this is no slow boiler, a short intro belies the utter mayhem that is to come as the band go out on an epic high of headbanging insanity, before a fun cover of ABBA’SGimme Gimme Gimme” soothes us off to sleep, or not.

HYPERIA have delivered something special with this release, it is an adrenaline pumping ride of pure excitement from start to end. Rarely do the band allow you to catch your breath, they fire off riff after riff, epic solo after epic solo, relentless pounding double bass drum work and superbly performed bass provide an unshakeable foundation for Ryley to weave her vocal and lyrical magic in a true theatrical powerhouse performance that will rival anyone in the business. The production is imperfect, but gets the job done, and captures some classic tones, you’ll hear those early Mesa Mark Kirk Hammett tones in a few tracks. It’s clearly done on a budget, but this is about the most critical thing I could find to say about this release.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Hypnagogia
2. Intoxication Therapy
3. Experiment 77
4. Severed
5. Prisoner of the Mind
6. Terror Scum
7. Whitecoat
8. Silhouettes of Horror
9. Operation Midnight
10. Pleonexia
11. Gimme Gimme Gimme
Marlee Ryley - Vocals
Colin Ryley - Lead Guitar
David Kupisz - Rhythm Guitar
Scott Degruyter - Bass
Gord Alexander – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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