Hypoxia – Despondent Death (Ultimate Massacre Productions)

Sunday, 27th September 2015
Rating: 7.5/10

When life serves you lemons, sometimes the best choice is to use some NY death metal to bludgeon them into lemonade. Such is the case of Hypoxia, who recently released Despondent Death, their first full-length. Following up on an earlier EP and demo, there’s more here than just a bunch of slamming around.

Some may recognize the names of vocalist Mike Hrubovcak (Azure Emote, Monstrosity, etc etc) and drummer Carolina Perez (Castrator), but we don’t need to veer off into any supergrouping labels. Hypoxia does provide pure fan service in regards to their appropriately located NYDM. Fast, crushing riffs with plenty of bottom-end to aid in their heaviness and menacing roars take the lead, but there is some nuance beneath. One of the most striking pieces of Despondent Death is how well-integrated the leadwork is. There are plenty of ripping solos from start to finish (see “Atomic Genocide” if you’d like an example) that keep an intense yet memorable tone. Another highlight is Perez’s drumming, which is full of blasts but keeps a variety that doesn’t often occur in this type of material. Lastly, the usage of groove keeps things fresh, with songs like “Primal Butchery” sure to induce some violent pits in the live venue.

While it does stick mostly to genre convention, Hypoxia is quite good at what they do. Those looking for a brutal, good time will get plenty of spins out of Despondent Death. Pulverizing from start to finish.

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