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Dirge - Hyperion review

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Band: Dirge
Album: Hyperion
Release date: March 2014

01. Circumpolaris
02. Floe
03. Venus Claws
04. Hyperion Under Glass
05. Filigree
06. Remanentie

I've been on the Dirge bandwagon ever since wondering how the hell can they top their last masterpiece. One could argue Hyperion is Elysian Magnetic Fields II but I have no problem with a band sticking to their trademark sound as long as it continues to be distinctive and interesting.

I consider Elysian Magnetic Fields to be one of the finest post/sludge/atmospheric metal albums of all time. I read a prefect quote about it at the time of its release: "A chilled out version of Rosetta" - and it's so true. Elysian Magnetic Fields has an impressive list of credentials: Long, droning metallic songs infused with flawless programming, keyboards and soundscapes. Not as hard or obliterating as Rosetta, instead it chugs along at a more mesmerizing and slower pace - doom metal is very much a part of Dirge's legacy - and has been delicately branded into their specific style of post metal since their inception in 1994.

This time around Dirge have incorporated some different aspects into their music. Songs such as "Filigree" and the sixteen minute marathon "Remanentie " welcome some industrial elements into the fray. Electronic percussion is a nice change of pace that works well with pristine hypnotic tones that carry much of the album. Clean vocals and female voice interchange with harsh, drowned out screams. All of these precise intricacies add a new level to Dirge's gentile mixture of light and heavy moments throughout the album. In fact, what makes Dirge so good at what they do is their ability to sync soothing and abrasive layers of ambient noise, feedback and distorted guitars into such a tremendous musical up taking about songs of despair and desolation.

Six songs clocking in at just over sixty minutes, lace up your shoes and get ready for a colossal undertaking as you march through this immense album. Thankfully, there are so many details to indulge in and Hyperion is worthy of multiple listens that will allow you to cherish every last second of it.

One negative for listeners may be the diligent pace of the album. If you can be content with the not so many ups and downs and overall lethargic gate of the songs, Hyperion will be a very rewarding listening experience and will introduce you to a whole new angle of dense and uncelestial brand of post metal. It isn't easy to dissect Hyperion's formula, but with some stream-lined deliberation you can feel the thoughtfulness that went into such an immersive album. A massive release like this requires intense attention to detail and I hope you join me on this expansive journey.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 10

Written by tea[m]ster | 06.05.2014


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 10   Visited by: 260 users
06.05.2014 - 15:12
The use of the spoken word bit in "Hyperion Under Glass" seems to stick in my mind, even over the great sound of the album as a whole. "Stars don't fall for men" - it's from Game of Thrones if I'm not mistaken, seems to suit the symphonic sort of march that the track starts off with, before it unfolds into all things post-doomy.

Nice job on the review.
06.05.2014 - 19:24
A couple of typos aside, a really well-written review that covers my opinions on the band pretty well. It took me a few listens to progressive come to fully appreciate Elysian Magnetic Fields, but this one hooked more pretty much from the first go - although that might be due to my changing tastes since 2011. The electronic soundscapes and industrial 'coldness' (I might refer to it as) do add another dimension to the band atop of all the Isis/Cult of Luna-style post- bands and give the band their own identity. Probably one of the best albums I'll hear this year.
06.05.2014 - 22:26
Great review, Jay.
07.05.2014 - 17:09
Au Pays Natal
Written by R'Vannith on 06.05.2014 at 15:12

The use of the spoken word bit in "Hyperion Under Glass"

Shoot, forgot to mention that. That is really something different for Dirge. Thanks for the reply R' !
07.05.2014 - 17:11
Au Pays Natal
Written by Sand on 06.05.2014 at 17:42

I like your writing style. You just might be the best reviewer here!

Oh wow, thanks for the compliment. However, I am just an amateur trying to share my favorite music with this great community. The real professionals are those staff writers, every one of them.
07.05.2014 - 17:14
Au Pays Natal
Written by musclassia on 06.05.2014 at 19:24

A couple of typos aside
Probably one of the best albums I'll hear this year.

By no means do I write for a living , lol, but yeah, I think we can place Dirge in the top tier of the post metal genre now.
07.05.2014 - 23:57
Your first front page review I think. Congs.
Giving my ears a rest from music.
08.05.2014 - 07:21
Troy Killjoy
Written by tea[m]ster on 07.05.2014 at 17:11
The real professionals are those staff writers, every one of them.

You're just as much a pro as the rest of us, being that none of us are paid to write here.

Great review by the way. Would definitely love to see more of this from you, especially since post-metal reviews on the front page aren't really a thing.
Prettier than BloodTears.
09.05.2014 - 17:29
Both Bears
Remanentie makes this a 8.5-9/10 instead of 10/10 as it's so long .. the rest is just perfect .. not as heavy as EMF, but as heave as EMF at the same time
17.05.2014 - 18:51
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Revisted this album. I intended to anyway, but your review bumped it up the list, and I'm glad I did *thumbs up*
loves 小巫

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