It’s very definitely Doom, in its middle English and musical definitions: a preordained, generally negative or dreaded, outcome and a slow-moving, ugly sub-genre of heavy metal.
We’ve just got our hands on Hypersleep by VYRG, which, perhaps you remember, was previewed moderately ecstatically here…
The universe felt the jonsing here. The universe responded, one might daresay, rather expansively… (hence the above thesaurus-fest).
Hypersleep, it turns out, sounds like:
Cthulhu, drunk on peyote-laced nepenthe.
VYGR, elsewhere, have been called space rock, doom metal, ambient sludge– but they’re truly Epic Narrative Sludge or Tripped-Out Sci-fi doom: Hypersleep sounds like a sci-fi movie soundtrack, with sludge: VYGR’s use of space is one of the more distinct elements of their sound, beyond the sheer weight of the riffs.
First track, “Solar,” practically a snippet at two minutes– at 1:38 proceeds spiderly, shimmering background tiny string leads, suggests the end of “The Thing That Should Not Be”….
“Flares” opens with Riff of Riffs, yet also (perhaps it’s the keyboards in the background), sounds like it could be the soundtrack for the horror movie Terrence Malick will never make… the verse riff has a great fourth-based harmony that sounds maudlin and exultant at the same time, somewhat like Galactus playing Barber’s Adagio for Strings… and at 3:26 there it is, the Pink Floyd phased-out/ flanged-in lick in E… perfectly compliments the heaviness… VYGR know to break the heavy periodically so when they get back to it, it seems even heavier… like letting someone you’re waterboarding up periodically, instilling hope, and crushing again when they go back under….
That simile may not seem like it, but it’s a fun experience, that….
VYGR trudge, yet gracefully.
“Orbital Hallucinations,” aka A Riffed Out Dark Side of the Moon, encapsulates the sound here overall: nightmare alternate-universe soundtracks to the original Solaris, or the underrated Pandorum….
There are obvious similarities to Isis and Pelican– but whereas Pelican’s dominant mood is maudlin, or melancholy, VYGR’s is dread and exultation– like a brave-yet-scared-shitless cosmonaut who lost contact with his mother ship, but may be drifting to a previously-undiscovered planet….
“Galactic Garbage,” at around 4:00 hits what can only be described as a “leaden harp” section… majestic, 10-story harp of all gods, being fought over by Dionysus, Pan, and Kulitta… and at 4:44 exactly, drastically changes, yet retains the same melody– like Cthulhu suddenly tired of watching the previous three fight and tore it from their insignificant hands….
Track 6, “-“, a sweeper at 33 seconds, with its stirring, ambient sounds, like droids sleeping off nightmares….
“The Hidden”: moody, sad, at 4:40 takes a breather and mourns… stately and funereal in its dignified pacing… triumphant and sad, the bittersweet ending of an epic trilogy….
“Shapeshifters,” in its seeming familiarity, cements what was creeping up on our unconscious… the mighty music here is also catchy… 5:28 lays down RIFFness, like Cthulhu has had enough and destroys it all… as you watch… rapt…. as it fades to silence, and black, and diminuendo screaming….
“Unmoved Mover” and its twin guitar harmonies over a slug-trailing-blood riff: Iron Maiden risen from the depths to destroy the humans at Poseidon’s bidding… then around 2:15 lopes off, into the depths, alone, existentially despondent, after its pillaging….
“Path to the Unknown” ushers in “Event Horizon” with bell-like acoustic guitars that become the rumble of a train next door… “We Drift” opens with spacey whale calls and palm-muted lurching riffs….
We end with “A Distant Beacon,” with the encroaching silence and darkness, the gaining lack of light, with static and a sonar blip, as we feel total stillness and its approach.
Get Hypersleep from their label