Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony (Black Lion Productions)

Thursday, 25th February 2016
Rating: 8.5/10

Do you long for the days when melodic black metal had a true feeling of majesty to it? Bands like Dissection, Emperor, and Naglfar were carrying the torch for weaving in soaring and fantastic melodies into otherwise seething riffs with symphonic undercurrents, and Hyperion brings us about the closest one can come to that same grandeur without a time machine.

Don’t expect a total imitation of the old though – Hyperion is far too smart to simply ape the masters and call it their own. While the majestic feelings of melodic black metal reign supreme, highlighted by some backing synths (Dimmu Borgir this is not) and acoustic/atmospheric moments that add to the charm, Hyperion also take from the other Swedish legacy – melodic death metal. There’s some leanings towards The Jester Race-era In Flames and earlier At the Gates and Dark Tranquillity at times that adds some energy in the guitar section. The band has three guitarists in their ranks, and makes full use of them to ignite into frequently gorgeous melodies/harmonies. These are the real showstoppers of the album, with each song getting more than its fair share of hooks and melodies that are sure to keep you at the edge of your seat. They are sweeping, and often stunning guitar leads that bring the songs to entirely new levels. The title track takes just about everything Hyperion will throw at you, from acoustic moments, accenting keyboards, and memorable leads and puts it into a package that is practically hypnotizing.

Absolutely nailing a debut like this rare, particularly in this subgenre. Hyperion already seem to have all of the pieces in place – they just need to get their name out into the scene. With an album as strong as Seraphical Euphony, they shouldn’t have much trouble with that. Gorgeous yet sinister melodic black metal at its best.

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