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Hymnr – Far Beyond Insanity

Hymnr
Far Beyond Insanity
by Eric Poulin at 16 April 2021, 2:30 PM

HYMNR is a black metal band that started around 2020, based out Russia and this is their first full-length album entitled “Far Beyond Insanity” released on April 23rd, 2021 through Saturnal Records. Not having been in the black metal sphere for the last few years, I never really know what to expect from a project that has that label. The genre has morphed so much over the last decade, with bands going from doom, progressive, death, thrash and even technical metal when having this label. Considering the album only has 4 tracks, I was pretty sure most of the songs would have an epic nature.

In “Part 1” which starts with some nature effects, definitely has the tone I was expecting, similar to old school BATHORY and a quick pace in the drums, rapid guitar picking, but also viking metal-style melodies, which is usually what I prefer in the latter. The song is not a one-trick pony by any stretch of the imagination, it knows when to slow down and let the listener breathe a little. The vocals are difficult to describe as they have that shaman style and are very borderline death metal at times, they are certainly not of the high-pitch variety on all fronts. Musically, you have to picture this song (and the others) as a voyage into darkness, whether that is a physical one or a mental one, which I believe was the theme intended on this album, but I could be wrong.

“Part II” in its delivery brought me back almost 25 years to when I initially heard of the band DISSECTION, probably the most unique and standard bearers of melodic black metal, even to this day. Again, the vocals are much lower in tone than we are accustomed to hearing from this genre, which to me was a huge surprise, but also quite enjoyable. They do not take away from the music quality and actually forces you to focus more on the harmonies and the slower passages, which are executed to perfection I may add. I mentioned earlier doom metal and how it has been mixed with black metal over the last few years, this song has a quite a bit of that genre, making it my favorite track on the album.

“Part III” actually has a bit more death metal in it than the other songs, even if has some blistering blast-beats and more of a MARDUK style to it (the early material). This is he purest form of the genre you will hear on the album, but there are some surprises in how the rhythm guitar sound drastically changes at certain points, having more of a thrash metal tone in it. For those BORKNAGAR fans who really salivated at their aggressive nature in the early 1990s, you will have that same feeling here. It is gritty, unpolished and very cathartic in nature, yet somehow shows its beauty and paints quite the melancholic picture.

The crescendo that is “Part IV” does not really stray away from the musical themes of its predecessors, but it has that finale feeling to it, where if there was a main character in this story, he has finally reached his destination, and needs to face his destiny. As I talked about, these albums are adventures or journeys into the mind or out there in the real world. What good bands are able to accomplish is to clearly show musically that this is the final chapter. In that regard, HYMNR are able to fulfill that goal. The song uses the same instruments (musically and figuratively) to reach that last step. This is another grinder that goes through a slew of emotions, expressions and tempos, and serves its purpose as the closer.

Overall, I was very impressed by the talents of HYMNR, who have been able to construct a very cohesive 4-part album, that is a not a cliché of the genre, but more of an evolution of what the genre showed 30 years ago, combined with where the style is going in the 21st century. It had been a long time since I had appreciated a black album effort as much as this one.

Songwriting:  8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Part I
2. Part II
3. Part III
4. Part IV
Lineup:
VII - Drums
VI - Guitars, Bass
V - Vocals
Record Label: Saturnal Records
     


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