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Hypermass – Empyrean

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 30 May 2022, 2:48 AM

HYPERMASS is a Melodic Death Metal band formed in Norway in 2012. To date, they have only released an EP in 2015. “Empyrean” would be their debut full-length, and contains nine tracks. “The Constant” leads off the album. It sets the mood, with spacey keyboards swirling around, and a steady drumbeat. A riff enters, as it’s powerful and melodic. The music is both complicated and accessible. “Hivemind” enters with a low groove that moves nimbly among bullet fire all around, without taking a single hit. The keyboard part really rounds out their sound nicely. The lead guitarist lays down a fantastic solo…these guys are no slouches at their craft.

“The Degenerate Strain” moves with another complicated groove where the guitar venture right and left but never too far from center. The vocalist and the drummer maneuver together in unison while melody spills out in the chorus. “Null and Void” begins with tense tones and another fantastic riff. The song swings with the smile of an evil clown strolling down the street at night, looking for lonely victims. The bass work is also excellent. “To Dissect and Serve” is a scorcher, featuring muscular riffs and a groove that is both firm and flexible at the same time. The chorus is as melodic as is deep and expansive.

“Behind the Leviathan” possesses a more harrowing sound. The Leviathan was a terrible sea creature in mythology, and this song represents its killing power with dark and dissonant riffs and guttural vocals. “Equalizer” opens with a more adventurous riff, together with some angry and hate filled vocals. The guitar and bass work in this song are excellent…so very tight but also savory like your favorite indulgence. The title track purports the best lineaments of the genre…raging vocals, moving guitar parts, and some keys in support. The lead guitar notes at the end spew melody forward into the open. “Motherdome” closes the album. Once again, the riff is bold, and the bass guitar notes are tense and hardened. The melody in the chorus shines brightly among the sturdy backbone of heavy vocals and riffs.

Long on both talent and songwriting, HYPERMASS have returned with a vengeance on “Empyrean.” The album features vigorous and hefty Melodic Death Metal songs steep in the history of the genre, but with modern features. They know how to build strong choruses amidst the lawlessness of the heavier elements, and the album is chocked full of unbridled energy. Most of us are familiar with this genre of music, but if you want to hear it played right with postmodern tendencies, give “Empyrean” a serious listen.

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

4 Star Rating

1. The Constant
2. Hivemind
3. The Degenerate Strain
4. Null and Void
5. To Dissect and Serve
6. Behind the Leviathan
7. Equalizer
8. Empyrean
9. Motherdome
Martin Nordvik – Bass
Brage Kråbøl – Drums
Sindre Dagestad – Guitars
Thomas Pedersen – Guitars
Markus Sundet – Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 10 June 2023

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