Hyperborean - Mythos of the Great Pestilence (Own Label)

Black metal deviants...
Release Date: 
9 May 2014 - 11:30pm

Those bloody Swedish folk! Always pumping out quality black metal in one form or another - here we have Hypoborean, a two piece outfit with Magnus Persson on vocals and Andreas Blomqvist on guitars and bass (Marduk's Frederik Widigs does session/guest drumming on here). All things considered, they have a surprisingly massive sound. Admittedly Mythos of the Great Pestilence leans more towards melodic black metal than experimental (the album is mixed by another Marduk member, namely Magnus Devo Andersson) but it's a compelling piece of work.

Hyperborean have a good grip on both mid-paced and speedier compositions; for instance opener Hail Dystopia is just flat out with the desperate shrieks of Persson punctuating the tune, while The Great Pestilence is a mix of the speeding madness and slower, more mid-ranged tempos. Luckily the vocals aren't just shrieks and moans - there are grunts and other familiar black metal vocal stylings to mix things up too. The music is exceptionally well-produced; the juxtaposition of such 'clean' music against the raspy vocals is both strange and enjoyable, though some more bass would be nice, particularly with the song-construction being, at times, both technical and progressive. This is no shoe-box kult recording though and I think it's going to be an album that lures a lot of melodic black metal fans out of their crypts to get a piece of it.

But wait! It's not all experimental madness - there's an almost doomy feel to the intro of The Slaves Of this World and some gentle respite in the form of acoustic guitars easing the listener into On The Nature of Mankind (fear not, they are soon replaced by a barrage of guitars). There's a lot going on here with layers upon layer of guitar work and Widigs' drumming is impeccable. Hyperborean's own work aside, the album finishes with their take on Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear The Reaper - this is a pretty damn fine cover and rounds the album of nicely.

My interest has been engaged by the diversity of this album. Get a slice for yourself.