Hypothermia – Svartkonst

hypothermiaI have always been curious about this band, but have never pulled the trigger when releases would surface for purchase. When the mood for depressive black metal hits, it is nice to have a variety to pull from, especially if there is a hint of originality arising from the audial misery. Gothenburg, Sweden’s Hypothermia are indeed walking their own path when it comes to the dreary side of black metal, but as I absorb Svartkonst, the bands 5th full-length, I’m left understanding the vibe and direction this trio is going for, but I can’t help but desire something more out of the journey.

Svartkonst is depressive black metal in spirit for sure, as the mournful progressions drift along in a shroud of darkness, but the material is presented with nearly clean guitars as Hypothermia allow the natural distortion of the amps to model their sound. This allows the compositions to take on a spacious atmosphere, but the songs are so stripped down and based on repetition and straight forward drum work, that I would quickly become bored with the songs. Even when harsher distortion creeps in to infect the lazy gate of these tracks, it does little to break the monotony. The biggest void Hypothermia did not fill and would have possibly made a huge difference, it the absence of vocals. I have heard in the past that they are an instrumental band, which is likely the main reason why I haven’t investigated their previous work. In the case of Svartkonst, vocals would have been a welcomed addition to this material, for the overall flow of this album steadily stirs like a river, but it is slow moving and lacking in dynamics.

Hypothermia know how to pile on the mope and sound like no one else that comes to mind which is a very favorable quality. However, I really wanted to like these guys more than I do, but I just can’t get around the fact that their songs really go nowhere/sound interchangeable and when pressed into the construct of an album, they struggle to find their muse early on and never seem to recover. Hypothermia is neither trance inducing or particularity innovative leaving Svartonst to simply wallow in a pool of boredom. -Marty
Agonia Records

~ by martyworm on April 1, 2015.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: