Des Deux L’Une Est L’Autre
Having just recently visited these shores as support to South Australian thrashers Truth Corroded on their recent run of headlining dates up the east coast, French based avant-garde metal act Hypno5e have given their debut effort ‘Des Deux L’Une Est L’Autre’ a long overdue release here in Australia.
Originally released in early 2007, ‘Des Deux L’Une Est L’Autre’ (Which translates to English as ‘Of The Two, One Is The Other’) has been getting some high praise since its initial release, and for good reasons. Quite simply, Hypno5e’s debut is every bit as perplexing as it is brutal, with the band’s sound sounding like a collective mix of genres such as progressive rock, art rock, death metal and ambient/electronica.
Hypno5e (Who comprise of vocalist/guitarist/programmer Emmanuel Jessua, guitarist Jérémie Lautier, bassist Gredin and drummer/programmer Thibault Lamy) start the album off with the first of a two part epic ‘Maintained Relevance Of Destruction’. The first part is initially opened up with some spoken word over gentle guitar work, but is soon taken over with some huge riffing, and a bass sound that’s every bit as dominant as the other instruments. It isn’t long before the listener is thrown around with the band’s constant shifts in structures and tempos, from the downright pummelling, through to the lush and atmospheric. At times, ‘Maintained Relevance Of Destruction’ is quite mellow and serene, and other times jarring and schizophrenic in a warped grooving kind of way. The second part of ‘Maintained Relevance Of Destruction’ starts out with a completely different direction, with Jessua singing alongside Ilène Grange to create something altogether haunting and operatic, before the slow build up of aggression brings the song to a climatic close.
‘Daybreak At Slaughter-House’ (The first single/promotional video clip filmed for the album) is by far one of the album’s more aggressive efforts, and just one of the tracks on the album that could easily draw comparisons to Opeth with its ebb and flow of gentle passages and heavier death metal segments (Which could very well be described as Meshuggah meets In Flames), while the instrumental track ‘H492053’ does offer a bit of a rest for the listener with the track predominately maintaining a tranquil atmosphere, with the crushing wave of riffs emerging briefly around the halfway mark.
Next up is the lengthy epic ‘The Hole’, which boasts a host of audio samples and a guest vocal appearance from female vocalist Milka (Of fellow French art-metal act My Own Private Alaska) amongst a variety of shifts in moods and extremities musically, while the equally lengthy ‘Scarlet Fever’, apart from some carefully placed atmospheric passages, ventures forth into the opposite direction, with the band showcasing their technical prowess on their respective instruments in full progressive mode.
‘Tutuguri’, much like the former track, is a chaotic piece filled with a lot of time signatures and aggression, and the track that marks the end of the vocals on the album. From here, the latter half of the album is pretty much instrumental, with the epic two part ‘Naked Lunch’ opus (An obvious nod to William S. Burroughs and his novel of the same name) standing out as a particular favourite with its use of film samples, drum loops, orchestration and its overall progressive cinematic scope on the first part, and its beat heavy/guitar crunching evil twin on part two, while ‘Remords Posthumes’ is primarily a coda piece filled with distorted audio samples overlaid over a gentle keyboard accompaniment.
Despite the fact that half of the vocals and samples featured on ‘Des Deux L’Une Est L’Autre’ are in French, and that the album only works as a whole rather than just on a song to song basis, Hypno5e’s debut is an absolutely captivating piece of art, and one that has to be heard in full to truly understand.
A long time has passed since the release of this album, but the band has recently stated that they plan to release something new before the end of the year. I don’t think I’d be the only one to say that I’ll be keen to get me hands on something new from these French avant-garde artists, and interested to see in which direction they plan to take listeners after all this time.
For more information on Hypno5e, check out - http://www.myspace.com/hypno5e
© Justin Donnelly