Hypnos – The Blackcrow

Hypnos is an older, but relatively unknown underground death metal band from Czech Republic that has slowly evolved with the times. Starting in 1999 the group performed the typical death metal sound over the years in the vein of groups like Deicide or even Grave. As the years have gone on the band has evolved to more of a sound like Behemoth with mid paced, churning death metal with lots of injected melody especially in the solos. In 2017 they started a sort of concept album called “The Whitecrow” and now three years later we have the second part of that which is “The Blackcrow.” Continuing in the spirit of pushing boundaries, this second half should be just as enjoyable as the first.

After a brief interlude, one is introduced to the title track in the form of bellowed vocals, churning riffs loaded with melody, and strong production that makes everything heard clearly. Hypnos’s interludes near the end of the track is where they get interesting, showcasing some excellent solos or groove laden moments that put them above the standard death metal fare and more in the vein of groups like Morbid Angel meets Dismember. After this the band seems to slow down a bit more to their mid paced, more accessible tracks like ‘Afterlife Disillusion’ or ‘Vae Victis.’ To compare how much the group has grown, listen to the last track ‘In Blood We Trust’ which is a re-recorded version of the track from their 2000 debut full length. The speed and ferocity is unmatched in that track but compared to others like ‘Culte De La Raison’ which is more atmospheric in the focus of melody and the solos, one can really see the difference.

Hypnos also continue to push their boundaries on time limits and track hybridization. Like “Whitecrow,” the band continues to stitch tracks together like ‘Plunged Into The Cacophony’ and ‘Procession to Babylon,’ seamlessly blending the two together so it doesn’t feel like 2 separate tracks but at the same time coming in with two different paces of both their faster and slower mix of death metal. Even the vocal work here is different and more layered as opposed to the one sided snarl that is present on most of the album. Even though the higher pitched rasp isn’t as impactful especially during the chorus, the addition only enhances their music so they don’t quite feel like a complete copy of Behemoth.

Tracks like ‘In Grief…’ push Hypnos to their most epic lengths yet, showcasing frightening melodies and overall just a perfectly dark tone that makes this track worth listening to the album to begin with. Like the previous album, an excellent closer that demonstrates how far Hypnos have come over the years. Ultimately, those who have not heard “Whitecrow” yet should probably start with that before trying “Blackcrow”, though the two albums are not specifically named part 1 and 2, but are essential to get the full Hypnos experience.

3.5 / 5 STARS 

Reviewer: Colin McNamara

Dec 29, 2020

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Hypnos – The Blackcrow

review Hypnos - The Blackcrow

1. Vox Irae
2. The Blackcrow
3. Afterlife Disillusion/ The End Of Idolatry
4. Dawn Of Their Halcyon Age
5. Plunged Into The Cacophony/ Procession To Babylon
6. Vae Victis
7. Culte De La Raison
8. Liquid Sands
9. In Grief/ Too Old To Cry
10. In Blood We Trust (2020)

3.5

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