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Self Hypnosis - Contagion of Despair

Self Hypnosis
Contagion of Despair
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 July 2020, 12:24 PM

Though SELF HYPNOSIS are a new band, aficionados of the British Extreme Doom scene should need little introduction to the band members themselves. For those curious about the etymology: 'Self Hypnosis' itself is defined as a state of constant mindfulness - of being continually aware of the present moment, and to be directly knowledgeable of your internal and external place within it. The album title was inspired by a radio discussion about so-called “Contagion of Hope” phenomena and their roles in reducing harm to society: “Contagion of Despair” simply encapsulates the sober antithesis, which is that just means a slightly slower slide into Hell. The album contains seven tracks.

“Contagion” leads us off, at over 13 minutes in length. There is a slow lead-in before the main riff drops. The vocal vary from screams to shouts, and more guttural utterances. They lay on that main riff throughout the song. It gets more vile and it lumbers forward. “Empowered (Restricted)” is a much shorter song, moving faster and with more eerie tones. The hypnotic nature of the main riff really sticks to your ribs. “Omission” is over 17 minutes in length. It has long and trippy lead-in. The main riff is slow, and weighted. The vocals vary in style again. There is an extended instrumental passage that occupies the middle section of the song, then the sound returns again, with fervor.

“Scandal” is just under three-minutes in length. Guitars chug at a slightly faster pace, while the vocals remain raging. The riff here is hypnotic and the way it builds before each vocal passage is interesting to say the least. “Divided” is close to 17 minutes in length, opening with somber piano notes. It’s three minutes in before the guitar chords create chaos, while the shouted vocals contain the hatred of ten men. About half way in, the sound drops to nearly nothing, and then gains speed headed towards the end like a locomotive.

“Leeches” is just under five-minutes in length. A slow and somber guitar leads off the track, building to a main riff that is heavy and low in the register. It takes a pause just before the half way mark, dropping to just some guitar notes and background ambiance, before returning with hell to the end of the track. “Succumbed” closes the album, and it’s a monster eighteen-minute track. There is a long and spooky lead-in. When the main riff drops, it’s heavy, weighted and lumbering. It moves forward slowly, headed towards that “slide into Hell” that they were talking about earlier.

Overall, it was a good album, but could have been better. The utter despair that is created on the album is noteworthy. Good Doom should be just that. They tend to lay on a riff just a bit too long…I get that is the genre in a nutshell but even a little variation could go a long way in the end. Of the three vocal techniques, I like the shouting the least. It fits with the music, but it just isn’t a style I enjoy personally. Still, I think fans of Doom Metal will find this album to their liking.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Contagion
2. Empowered (Restricted)
3. Omission
4. Scandal
5. Divided
6. Leeches
7. Succumbed
Kris Clayton
Greg Chandler
Record Label: Svart Records


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