That’s right, the masters of black metal mystery surreptitiously released another album, granting us yet another look beyond the veil of our paltry reality. Hyperion is a three-track EP recorded in 2013 that clocks in at 24 minutes. In those 24 minutes Barr and friends remind us why they are the masters.
At the time of writing, I’m about halfway through the third track, so I can only offer my initial impressions.
1. As Karhu stated in the Facebook group, Hyperion sounds closer to Years Past Matter than Ygg Huur. Since it was recorded closer to the former than the latter, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Third track “Assuming Memory” is closer in length to the songs on Years Past Matter, and stylistically, this EP seems to further explore the sort of deep-space probe examination of universal scope conducted on YPM.
2. It’s good. Very good. Hyperion takes account of its short time budget to bring all of the very best elements that make this band matter to the fore. The title track features the band’s signature use of delicate, graceful interlocution of the guitars and bass that always mesmerizes and blinds onlookers like a towering ebony Tower of Babel. “The Guilt of Time” revels in a swarming, scathing atmosphere of dissonant angles and thrumming machinery that wouldn’t be out of place on a Jute Gyte record. “Assuming Memory” is perhaps the most spellbinding effort, though, as it manifests in thin air before you, coalescing from the spaces between particles and constructing a rainbow bridge between your minuscule mortality and true transcendence. This epic conclusion makes grand use of atmosphere and a slowly unraveling structure born on the back of a shifting rhythm section. As always, the vocals dive and soar across each track like deft cranes showing you the way to enlightenment.
3. The album is named after Hyperion, the titan of light in Greek mythology who drew the sun through its clockwork movements on the back of his radiant chariot. As always, I can only conjecture about the reason for this christening, but the name feels right. This EP feels like an illumination, a solar glow guiding us closer to true enlightenment. It hints at the feeling of warmth and light that a great record can bestow. It welcomes you to take a ride through the stratosphere to find what lingers in the dark corners of your mind.
4. As with any release from Krallice, I’m certain I will need to revisit this album a number of times to grasp its inner light. That’s part of the thrill of being a fan of this band, though. As it stands, Hyperion is one hell of an introduction to 2016.
You can get the album digitally now, or you can pre-order a limited edition physical copy of the EP here.