Written By: Noctus

Hypothermia Svartkonst 01If someone told you that their band was basically Xasthur but with no riffs, no vocals, less distortion and no variation in tempo, would you bother to listen? Thank heavens that labels have hyperbole to sell their records because bands like Hypothermia are lost without it. Described as depressive black metal with songwriting flair from post-rock, I cannot name a single merit that this band brings to the table and I don’t think a promo has ever left me more apathetic than this one.

I have little experience with their prior works but if Svartkonst is anything to go by, anyone calling Hypothermia a post-rock band is the kind of person who has never listened to post-rock and think that simply ‘going soft’ qualifies as one. This is depressive black metal at its most stereotypical, if less in-your-face and more mid-paced, with the gain turned down from 11 to 6. This would be fine – that is, if the album wasn’t horrible.

It genuinely sounds like a raw demo you’d pass to your bandmate, definitely not something you’d print to disc and put your name on. Everything about this album, what little there is, does absolutely nothing to inspire any sensation of feeling whatsoever. The dull, barely distorted power chord strumming sounds the same whichever track is playing, and outright refuses to leave that comfort zone. The drumwork sounds languid, with occasional fills that sound like the drummer getting bored with what’s going on rather than any musical construction happening.

Each of the five tracks are based on the same key, each meandering through their motions in the most lethargic way imaginable. Even as background music it’s really, really pushing it as far as lack of content goes. Instead of defined sections you just have incidental shifts, perhaps moments that are a bit louder and the guitar turns up the distortion a bit; but they all seem to be totally for the sake of themselves and refuse to be part of a greater whole. Calling this songwriting is a real push – it’d be more accurate to call it lost recordings from the world’s most boring jam session. You could cut up sections from these tracks, interchange them with others and change nothing at all.

Hypothermia_Band 03

I was rather surprised Hypothermia opted to make this album instrumental, and not in a good way. I doubt that vocal presence would have made the biggest difference in the world considering how poor the songwriting already was, but in its absence it’s nigh impossible to tell these five tracks apart. It’s stripped down and barren to the point of head-scratching. I’m all for minimalism and eschewing over-complication, but if there’s nothing interesting to listen to, what leg does your record have to stand on?

If it wasn’t already plain as a gloomy, tepid day, I’m at a loss for what on earth Hypothermia were going for. It’s an album utterly void of emotion or anything remotely personable. You can argue that this was the point, but if the main focus emotionally is apathy and lethargy, good luck getting me to care. I can’t see this as anything but style-over-substance drivel without any sense of identity or musical worth. Nice logo though, I guess.

Rating: 1.0/5.0
DR: 10 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Agonia Records
Websites: Facebook.com/Hypothermia
Release Dates: Out Worldwide: 05.15.2015

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  • Martin Knap

    I wouldn’t say it’s bad, it’s just very boring, but that’s what these guys go for I guess. I actually knew these band because of their split with Trist (local band), that material is recorded even more terribly.

    • No clue if that was a real fox head or not, but on review, we shouldn’t have gone with that image anyway. AMG also stands for Animal-loving Metal Guy.

      • Martin Knap

        ha, you’ve changed it, kudos for that.

  • Iliast

    The hype around this album left me completely nonplussed. I’m a (somewhat tepid) fan of Agonia, but why this is in a release roster alongside decent stuff like Infernal War and really interesting stuff like Blaze of Perdition is beyond me.

    • Noctus

      After listening to their previous stuff I have to say the hype around any of their music has left me confounded. It’s the very epitome of style-over-substance and I felt kind of insulted after listening to it.

  • Dat DR, though.

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    This is the most meta metal band ever. That boring promo track left me so cold I got hypothermia. Does this mean I “get” the band by proxy? Art is confusing, y’all.

    • Iliast

      Think it was meant to leave you chilled. They just screwed up their compositional thesaurus.

  • Martin Knap

    If I want to get on some deep psycho-trip I listen to medieval music by
    Hildegard Von Bingen.

  • Feeblejocks

    A Steel Druhm review of an awesome raucous old-school metal album with a shirtless barbarian on the cover followed by a Noctus review of a shitty depressive- and/or post-black metal album with coll-looking logo being one of its few recommending features? All is right with the world.