Genre: Melodic Black Metal
Label: Abyss Records
The second album by Hyperborean, titled ‘Mythos of the Great Pestilence’, is the follower of a notable debut three years ago. The Swedes serve melodic black metal their own way, a way which stands away even from their countrymen, and this release is a continuation of what they started in 2011, in general.
With the new release, the band does not present any particular new elements into their music, on the contrary the songs on ‘Mythos…’ could easily exist/fit in their first effort. The repetitive melodies suggest a solid album structure, which shows the experience of the members in the practical aspect of the record, which however might involve into a tiring listen as a whole.
The sound of the album disappointed me a bit, as it can not be called an improvement compared to older recordings. While it’s quite polished, the guitars’ sound is peculiar and the drums are wronged, while having variety it feels like they have been squashed at the back of the rest of the instrumentation. The vocals of Magnus Persson change from growls to shrieks and are satisfactory for the record.
The style of Hyperborean lacks any kind of extremity and I think that’s the reason their album is weak. Their type of melodic black metal is easygoing and rough edge free, even when the band tends to accelerate and play harder. For example, the introduction of ‘On the Nature of Mankind’, with the acoustic guitars reminds any modern rock band of today, something that surely won’t please the fans of the genre.
Even if Sweden is responsible for heavier, powerful “melodic” bands like Setherial and The Legion, this record is not an analogous example. While the musical capabilities of the group are obvious, with their comfortable and almost post-black at points melodies, they don’t convince and offer a mediocre result in the end.