Review: Hyperion — Seraphical Euphony

Behold the Father of the Sun, who embraced death and life in equal parts. Behold the icy landscapes in which his breath stopped and travelled to other planes.

With a pinch of classic melodic black metal and a dash of melodic death metal, Hyperion is a relatively young band that is fighting to find their own voice while balancing the different tensions of these two genres. With their first full-length released this year, this new Swedish sprout is both seeking to forge a new path and carrying some ancestral banners, so we will have to enter through the threshold they present.

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The primary references to understand Hyperion’s work can be traced in the traditional Swedish sound of the nineties. The melodic phrases of the strings and the soothing experience of autumnal melancholy are both present there, but you can also find hurtful winter winds of the more extreme acts within this genre. It is clear, then, that Seraphical Euphony is a work composed under the paradigms of Emperor and Dissection with a mix of the aesthetic approach of older In Flames and At the Gates. Interestingly, the overall experience seems to be split into these two halves; the first half meditates on the melodic black metal approach, and the second segment obsesses over the first wave of melodic death metal. With a little effort and focus, the listener can trace these roots during a conscientious spin of this record.

But a simple throwback to older styles may not merit your attention, so what do Hyperion actually achieve with this release? Seraphical Euphony is far more than tight musicianship or a careful selection of influences; this band is actively showing us a new way to reinterpret and appropriate older musical language.

Following the candlelit introduction, “Remnants of the Fallen”, Hyperion kick out 52 minutes of a tangible, imaginative godly war. The rich textures of the acoustic guitars set up the mood, helping and carrying the listener through a staging inspired by the multiple Greco-Roman Gods and historical legends. The lyrical contents are recollections of this period, and each song deals with its own anthemic battle or tale. “Flagellum Dei” (translated as Scourge of God), for example, tells a tale of the barbaric invasions of Rome and the defense of the people under the command of general Flavius Aetius. Other songs, mostly “Seraphical Euphony” or the fearless closer “Blood of the Ancients”, tals with a more mythological speech and gothic chants, describing the underworld and the fall of the first age of the Titans.

All these topics are interconnected into the major theme of a more nuanced perspective of the decadence of society, one where chaos and imagination create order. The attempt of destruction of modern values and the uncertainty of the present are smartly engaged through the historical and mythological analogies. Hyperion is not rehashing speeches from generic dark myths, but rather weaving an intriguing arc of expression made all the stronger by its link between past and future.

From the musical aspect, the comparisons with the aforementioned bands can alienate people that only want an innovation or those who cannot enjoy hugely melodic records. Moreover, the bi-directional genre approach could also be a hindrance. The saccharine hopeful sounds inspired by In Flames, on the second half of the record, from the Gothenburg old-school experience of “Moral Evasion” onwards, are more present than the sorrowful pastoral riffing of the melodic black metal tremolos, and this may be seen by some as a lack of cohesion. I disagree, though; the melodies are adjusted to each song and lyrical topic without any kind of issue.

I would be remiss, though, if I didn’t highlight one of the major strengths that melodic approach lends the album. The keyboard layers throughout are a major positive characteristic. They suit the atmosphere with chorus-like effects that contrast with the menacing segments or the sad moments. Drums and guitars engage in teams to provide a solid base for the playful melodies, working with fate through the light, fast moments and the unexpected transitions to the slower segments. Some sparkling solos decorate landscapes and emotions, constructed under the folkloric counterpoint and harmonized nature of the Swedish tradition. In the vocal department, the frozen rasps fly over the mix accompanied by narrations akin to Carach Angren or Dimmu Borgir, the gesticulations of the lyrics wholly worthwhile and provide a story-telling effect to all the narrative structures of the songs that suits the melodic atmosphere. All of this music is wrapped with a pristine clean production that does not distract and leaves spaces for the bass and the keyboard twists to provide the songs a much more cinematic approach.

Seraphical Euphony is indeed a magnificent record that does not shy away from the grandeur of what the band is trying to communicate with the music and the lyrics, but it is also important to remember that the collage of both melodic black and melodic death metal will require patience and an open mind.

Overall, this record has become one of my favorites this year due to its precise execution of beautiful melodies and multi-colored feelings. It is a powerful album that deserves

4/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

NEW_TOILETSCALE_4_of_5

Seraphical Euphony is out now. Check out Hyperion’s Bandcamp and browse through Black Lion Productions to buy a physical copy as well. Follow the band on Facebook and tell them that a Half-Elf-Half-Venezuelan fan from a funny-named blog recommended their music.

What do you think of Hyperion’s Seraphical Euphony? Share your thoughts in the comment section and share if you think the band is worthy of your attention!

Photo: VIA. Cover by Alex Tartsus.

  • Spear

    Holy crap Link, this is an awesome review. You put everything I felt about this album into words that I couldn’t find. These two paragraphs in particular describe the album perfectly:

    “The primary references to understand Hyperion’s work can be traced is the traditional Swedish sound of the nineties. The melodic phrases of the strings and the soothing experience of autumnal melancholy are both present there, but you can also find hurtful winter winds of the more extreme acts within this genre. It is clear, then, that Seraphical Euphony is a work composed under the paradigms of Emperor and Dissection with a mix of the aesthetic approach of older In Flames and At the Gates. Interestingly, the overall experience seems to be split into these two halves; the first half meditates on the melodic black metal approach, and the second segment obsesses over the first wave of melodic death metal. With a little effort and focus, the listener can trace these roots during a conscientious spin of this record.

    But a simple throwback to older styles may not merit your attention, so what do Hyperion actually achieve with this release? Seraphical Euphony is far more than tight musicianship or a careful selection of influences; this band is actively showing us a new way to reinterpret and appropriate older musical language.”

    Perfect.

    • I’m honored for your reception, Mighty Writer Halberd Spear.

      I really like this one, I feel it’s going to be in my favorites of this first quarter of the year, indeed. Haven’t been this engaged to a MDM with this characteristics in a long time.

  • Waynecro

    Outstanding review, Link! Thanks! I’ve been listening to this album all day. I dig it!

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Hail Lonk! This be one of your better works easily. Among the best it do stand.

    • Who be this Lonk you speaketh ofeth?

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Links’s evil cousin.

        • He’s from Pennsylvania. And he doesn’t send me dólares!

      • he likes grondcore

        • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

          And Blond Guardian

        • And block metal?

    • Thank you very very much, my friend! Hope you listen to this record.

  • Vladimir Poutine

    Awesome! I had intended to write a review but life interfered. Luckily yours is much better than mine would have been anyway. Album’s definitely going to be in the top 10 for this year, that’s for sure. Nice job man.

  • JWEG

    Let the record show: I resisted alluding to Dan Simmons for an entire half hour.

    http://www.scificincinnati.com/images/fall_of_hyperion_backcover.jpg

    I don’t think this is from the standard U.S. edition of Fall
    of Hyperion, as it looks a bit unlike Gary Rudell’s other covers (which to be fair is probably because it’s the reverse cover, instead). I thought I’d share it, specifically, rather than others in the ‘Cantos’ because it has a definite Tech-Death album cover vibe to it that I like.

  • Link you are becoming quite the metal scholar. Hail Satan.

    • Link (2016) says: “thank you!”.

      Leonhart, Link (2016). How to say thank you to Ricther. Venezuela. ToH Editorial.

  • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

    Hail! Mighty half-elf, Link! You have scripted yet another review of elegance and precision, fine work my friend. I enjoy this album and your review has made me appreciate it even more.

  • ME GORAK B.C.™

    REVIEW GOOD!!!!!! GORAK LIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Count_Breznak

    Started off reminding me of Mörk Gryning…but then it took a nosedive into way to melodic spheres.

  • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

    cool stuff elflord

  • JWEG

    I must say, I’ve bought or wish-listed lots of albums based solely on the quality of Reviews like this one on TovH. It doesn’t really quite even matter if the review wasn’t actually all that ‘positive’; I just want to support that which led to such thoughtful analysis.

    I’m definitely going to add this once I get back from behind the UVIC firewall. It seems like I’ll thoroughly enjoy it.

    • Spear

      It’s a good

      • pretty sure the “power metal” lunch table is looking cooler every day

        • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

          We have swords.

        • Spear

          This confuses the Spear

          • Dubs

            I think he just called you a nerd. Don’t take that from him. Give him a wedgie.

          • Spear

            Well, I mean, he’s not wrong.

          • Dubs

            That’s not his word, though. That’s our word.

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            It was derogatory?

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            Jimmy is referring to the table in the Toilet lunch room, at which all the nerdy power metal guys sit.

          • Spear

            Oh yeah, I get that, it’s just that there are many things that that statement could mean.

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            The conversation you and Dubya are having is making me realise this…

          • Spear

            On the other hand, I AM tragically stupid…

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            I do not believe this

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            hes also tragically humble

          • Max

            I’m tragically smart; it’s a burden.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            i know those feels, max!

          • hehe, yeah if it were like high school, i’m looking over at the people sitting at the power metal table and it’s getting bigger every day. i want to join!

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            i could always send you a carepackage samenamebro

        • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

          They sure are looking way cooler than the militant atheist table which is just me and my fedora

          • Dubs

            I listened to the new Rhapsody of Fire today.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            Oh yeah did you like it?

          • Dubs

            I did actually!

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            I haven’t even listened to it yet

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            Dubs has joined the table.

          • Dubs

            I’ve always been here. If you look back at some of my earliest articles, I wrote about Hammerfall.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            Is that because you are a . . . Renegade

          • Dubs

            No, but my heart is on fire.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            My tastes have been waxing black lately so I haven’t dealt w power metal this year

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            My apologies, I have not yet delved deep enough into the plumbing of this great toilet.

          • Dubs

            To be fair, power metal is not my first love, merely a mistress. A weird, scaly mistress with fire breath.

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            I picture you more as the Lunch Room Monitor. You make sure everyone gets along and behaves, but at the same time can have in depth conversations with each table.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I haven’t listened to it yet. I plan on doing so though.

          • I need new Rhapsody in my life.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          It sure is. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody is good as is Riot.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            cmon jjd

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            What can I say? I wouldn’t sit at the militant atheist table.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            i know

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            If this was a high school I’d be the relatively popular class clown like I was in high school. Dubs would be the teacher, Jimmy would be my best friend/wingman and Tapir would be some girl who doesn’t like me because I scorned her.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            that does sound a lot like tapir and W is a nerd, and jeemy does have the same name as me

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            It’s a relatively good depiction.

          • more beer

            That is discrimination!

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I’m not discriminating.

    • Thanks a huge lot, sire! The album is Name Your Price, btw 😉

  • Dubs

    Link, your love of the melodic is as heartwarming as ever.

  • Pentagram Sam

    This sounds right up my alley. Lyrically and w the musical blend o descriptions Thanks dude!

    • Glad you dig it, Sam!

      • Pentagram Sam

        Listened to alot of it last nite and it’s getting put on the mailmanbro list. Hells yeah to fresh new metals

        • Excellent, man. The band really deserves the attention, they remind me of Horrendous, they deliver the same juvenile bite but with a very focused and mature attempt of attitude.

  • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

    wheres tyreenis been?

    • Tending to the needs of his tyreenis, one imagines . . .

      • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

        what a knob

        • KNOB-TWIDDLER! WHY DOST THOU WEEP AND GNASH AND TWIDDLE THY KNOB?

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Don’t ask me.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            erbody twiddles from time to time

          • Forsooth.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            Hark!

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            The herald angels sing! Glory to the newborn king!

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            nope

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Peace on Earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconcile?

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            fuck all them, sorry not sry

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            🙁

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            welcome to the club, cub

          • seconded

          • more beer

            GAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard
          • more beer

            I don’t like church songs! Or churches or things that have to do with them.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard
          • more beer

            I’m good with outside. I work outside..

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            i work outside so i hate outside

          • more beer

            I like it more when it’s warm. But I don’t really have to go out in the snow. Then I like inside.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            i cant stand the heat man

          • more beer

            I like going to work in shorts and a tee shirt. Plus I work with water all day.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            i cant

          • more beer

            That sucks I can. No one cares what I look like at work.

          • Vladimir Poutine

            Nice to have those kind of jobs ain’t it?

            And before I forget: are you going to the Behemoth show on May 3?

          • more beer

            I haven’t decide on Behemoth yet. I think that Napalm Death and the Melvins are the day before. I have to look then check my available funds. Yea the lack of dress code at work is really nice. I am going to Black Sky tonight. A friend from Nebraska is playing.

          • Vladimir Poutine

            Oh balls. I didn’t know that those two shows were that close … gotta reevaluate on my end.

          • more beer

            I think but I am pretty sure they are a day apart. It is getting to be that time that a lot of shows are going to be coming thru here.

          • more beer

            Change that that Black Sky show is Saturday night.

  • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

    BY THE POWERS LINK HAS VESTED IN ME, TODAY I NAME ALL OF THE TOILET THE TITLE OF WARRIOR
    http://img.memecdn.com/Brace-Yourselves-Valiant-Warriors-of-Life_o_134692.jpg

    • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

      INB4 BOBLOBBOB OR TAPIR OR W SAYS ANYTHING, I COULDNT DECIDE IF THE TYPO WAS FUNNIER

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    I’ve only listened once but it’s a great album, and this is a great review that makes me want to listen to it more, and more deeply. Nicely done!

  • Maik Beninton™

    I think this is the first time I grabbed an album before it was well presented on the blog. All thanks to our awesome black metal thread and Celtic Frosty who brought it up. Also great review Link.

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    The first riff in the second one is total Emperor. I’d still rather DM bands rip off emperor than black dahlia or whatever.

  • Eliza

    The moment the second track started, I knew I was going to like this.