Hyperion’s stunning debut album ‘Seraphical Euphony’ is the combination of melodic death metal and black metal that I didn’t know I wanted to hear until coming across this album.
After the introduction entitled ‘Remnants of the Fallen’, featuring some melancholic acoustic guitar work and leading into a nice build up, you are hit with the relentless black metal opening track ‘Novus Ordo Seclorum’, which reminds me of Watain’s later material. But before the black metal purist can get comfortable, there are some excellent melodic guitar passages reminiscent of early In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and At The Gates, whilst creating an atmosphere like that found on the first two Amorphis albums.
Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, you could say that this style of metal is in their blood – as extreme, dark and heavy as it is beautiful, melodic and atmospheric. Taking equal amounts of inspiration from bands such as Dissection, Emperor and Mayhem as they do from those aforementioned melodeath giants, they have carved out a niche that has not been done to as high a standard as this. The sound is as colossal as their band name (taken from a Greek titan) and requires three guitarists, Erik Molnar, Michael Malm and Joel Hagroth, to achieve it. Additionally, the blasting drums from Anders Peterson and the bass of Raul Vincente form a relentless force that carries the weight of the songs.
Although Harry Lauraéus’ vocals are average, they are perfect for the style and compliment the music well. Occasionally there are clean vocals, like at the beginning of title track ‘Seraphical Euphony’ and during the epic closing track ‘Blood of the Ancients’, adding a little variety that I would have liked to hear slightly more of throughout the album. Both of these tracks also feature stunning acoustic guitar work giving the vibe of an early In Flames record.
The general pace of the album is pretty up-tempo, only slowing down slightly during parts of ‘Moral Evasion’ which I think has got to be the catchiest track on the record. There is just enough variety on the album, from black metal blast beats to catchy melodic guitar passages, and epic symphonic scores to beautiful acoustic guitars, to keep the album interesting and exciting from start to finish. The whole package is beautiful, with excellent album artwork drawn by Alex Tartsus and a formidable band logo drawn by Christophe Szpajdel, who also designed Emperor’s iconic logo.
No single track on the album comes across as more inclined towards either one of the two genres that they are perfectly melding together, creating a very solid album without any filler. This is one of the strongest debut albums I have heard in recent years and I wouldn’t have guessed that the band is relatively new, having only formed in 2007. They show huge potential in this record and I can certainly see them becoming a household name in the genre.