Channeling the Spirit of Warfare
Swedish black metal act, Hyperborean has been around since 2000, yet this is their first full length release. Since 2000 they've released a couple of demos, but so far they have released nothing near the quality of this album. Bordering on straight up death metal this very melodic black metal album has a deep dark atmosphere that is punctuated with fast blast beat drums and wailing guitars.
The music, especially the fist track "Channeling the Spirit of Warfare", almost reminds me of Death in a way. The guitars on the first track are almost identical to Chuck Schuldiner's, and I mean that in the best way possible. Though classified by most as black metal, I find myself thinking it leans more towards death metal. With the occasional keyboard accompaniment, this album can become very technical, especially in the guitars and the above mentioned keyboards. Andreas Blomkvist, who plays both on the album, is an excellent musician, and throughout the album it really shows. Magnus Persson's vocals on this album are also quite superb. Bordering on a black metal growl, while also incorporating a death metal type tone to it, Persson's voice is killer on all the songs, and is carried above the band very well, especially on "Viper" and "A New Sun Rises".
Most black metal or death/black metal in this case, would not have that so called 'bite' if it weren't for the deep underlying tones of the bass. When the two are played together the contrast in sounds really bring out the two instruments, giving the music that sound. This album in no way lacks that and that is extremely evident during the guitar solo on "A New Sun Rises". Max Lindberg lays down some great background figures to back up Andreas Blomkvist, who is equally talented.
The production of this album is expertly done, with a dark, foreboding feel that really brings out the best in the band.
Hyperborean has really got something going for them, and it shines through in their first full length album. This album is in no way that harsh, threatening style one is used to when thinking about black metal. No, this album offers up some harsh melodies, by its also melodic in its own way. For a great release, Hyperborean gets 4 stars.
1. Channelling The Spirit Of Warfare (7:12)
2. Weapon Mankind (7:03)
3. Viper (7:10)
4. The Last Stand Of Leonidas And The Battle Of Thermopylae (9:54)
5. A New Sun Rises (5:39)
6. Killing Grounds (4:21)
7. The Sick Man Of Europe (6:33)