Hyperion - Seraphical EuphonyCrack a beer and get comfy folks, it’s storytime. Our tale is about a brave group of Swedes who decided to storm the castle of greatness, knowing full well the dangers and hardships they’d face. The lofty standards of age-old records loved worldwide would need to be breached. Our protagonists would need to deftly maneuver within clear and defined stylistic boundaries. These Swedes go by the name Hyperion, and the tome of their triumph is called Seraphical Euphony.

Into battle Hyperion rides on a menacing black steed. In particular, the one the Grim Reaper is riding on the cover of Storm of the Light’s Bane because my oh my does this sound like Dissection’s second record. There’s also a clear influence of Emperor’s brand of tastefully symphonic “sophisticated black metal art” that shows up on their records along with the far more melodic direction Ihsahn’s The Adversary took that sound in. Given that Dissection employed a ton of melo-death elements on Storm, it makes sense that Hyperion takes the hint and brings that influence into play as well. Interestingly, The Haunted’s severely underrated The Dead Eye is the biggest melo-death influence present to my ears, which lends an extra layer of big riffs to the melodic stuff here. Watain’s finest two hours in Lawless Darkness and Sworn to the Dark make appearances too in their burlier take on Dissection, particularly noticeable in “Flagellum Dei” when things get extra chunky.

While I’m not generally one for intro tracks, “Remnants of the Fallen” is brilliant, showing Hyperion in top form right out of the gate. Like most good sad sounding metal, it’s plainly influenced by “Moonlight Sonata” and like any good intro lasts for the perfect amount of time to effectively build tension. Then, when you’re on the edge of your seat wondering what’s coming next, “Novus Ordo Seclorum” proceeds to knock you out of it with an impassioned ode to how awesome Emperor’s first three records were in the form of a collection of great riffs. After this, it’s full-bore into the Storm, and the melodic lead here is nothing short of incredible. “Moral Evasion” kicks in fully with a great catchy riff that may as well have been on The Dead Eye and toys with it to make the whole song based around that idea, which itself is derived from the excellent and shockingly cheese-free piano intro in which guitar slowly fades in and builds anticipation expertly.Hyperion 2016

As for flaws, the drums don’t sound quite as I’d like them to. They sound somewhat replaced, the snare roll in “Novus Ordo Seclorum” is a wee bit off-putting because of this, and the ride cymbal is wont to get a bit lost in the more intense passages. Also the rarely used clean vocals are good but not remarkable as they lack in range. Hyperion seems to know this, and uses that device sparingly enough that it’s still effective. There’s also a ton of acoustic and soft instrumental passages, but they’re so gorgeous and fitting that the breaks away from the black metal on a black metal record manage to become highlights in themselves. The title track does its best to sound like Prometheus mixed with The Adversary for much of its runtime and it’s a bit less dynamic because unlike most Ihsahn songs no clean vocals make an appearance, giving the song a bit less versatility in that regard.

If it wasn’t already obvious, I had to try really hard to find things I didn’t like about Hyperion’s debut. Not only is Seraphical Euphony easily one of the most traditionally beautiful black metal records I’ve ever heard, it’s wonderfully paced and consistently engaging too. Hyperion takes a risk in making music with such obvious similarities to their influences that it’s impossible not to compare them to the classics, forcing us to put them to test of incredibly high standards. It should be clear that to this reviewer, they passed with flying colours. Within five minutes of hearing Seraphical Euphony for the first time, I was completely enraptured and believed that I’d stumbled upon something truly great. When the stunning and wholly consonant lead that concludes the record on major highlight “Blood of the Ancients” faded into silence, I knew Hyperion had created something special. As the record fades out for the twenty-fifth time as I write this, I can confidently say that Seraphical Euphony will be the best record released in 2016. While this is certainly a massive victory for the lads in Hyperion, it’s a bigger victory for us listeners; we have a timeless triumph put to tape, our Sulphur Aeon for 2016, a new classic we’ll remember fondly years down the line.

Rating: 4.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Black Lion Productions
Websites: hyperion.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/hyperion
Releases Worldwide: February 4th, 2016

Share →
  • El_Cuervo

    You took the words right outta my mouth DiM [“Must have been while you were kissing me” etc etc]

    • André Snyde Lopes

      *takes notes* I think ‘ll give this a shot…

      • El_Cuervo

        Stealing words out of my mouth? Unlike Mr Loaf I don’t want to have my words ripped from me you rapist.

        • André Snyde Lopes

          Well, you shouldn’t have been wearing that miniskirt.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Not sure whether to be disturbed or flattered…I’ll be…flatturbed?

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Nonsense album title, kickass music. That drummer must be exhausted half way through the damn thing though…

  • “The title track does its best to sound like Prometheus mixed with The Adversary…”
    Sweet baby Jesus, I love it already.
    And after listening the embedded track, I love it with deepest passion. So good, SO GOOD. Even the cover art is nicely painted… Thanks for the great discovery!

  • Wilhelm

    These are the types of ass kicking records we used to get in the 90’s, but what hurts the album is the lousy mastering job, this music needs to breathe; unfortunately this keeps the album from being essential to just very good.

  • Shangsean

    Just bought this without listening to a second of it. Hopefully you’re on the money with the review. I sort of miss the old days of buying blind, so every now and then I just take a punt on something that looks interesting. Music is so easily accessible now that I feel I often give up on something before giving it a real chance. When I’ve already paid for it, I atleast have to give it some time to justify the purchase.

    • Bart the Repairman

      I kinda get your point, but IMO this accessibility is a blessing. Thanks to it, I have only “the best of the best” in my collection (and hundreds of albums waiting in a queue). But I live in a country where you can buy about 30 CD’s for the average salary, so…

      • Diego Molero

        What country is that? In mine I can’t even buy one with average salary

        • Bart the Repairman

          Mighty Poland, my friend. And you? Hard to believe in what you’ve written here.

          • Diego Molero

            In Venezuela. And is for real, in here the minimum salary is 16.000 Bolívares, and you can’t buy the CD’s in a store because there isn’t any (that sells metal) and if you want to buy them digital you have to buy it in dollars and 1$ is almost 1000 Bolívares, so you have 16 dolars in the minimum salary. So in theory you could buy one but then you have almost no money left. Long story short, Venezuela is pretty fucked and the economy is shit.

          • Prostidude

            What about Venezuelan metal bands? Are there any good ones? How do you purchase their music?

          • Diego Molero

            There aren’t much, this country isn’t very metal, but yeah there are a few, Terra Nullius is one of the best but the singer annoys me, there are other good bands but they aren’t metal, like Viniloversus and La Vida Bohème. And with bands from here it’s different because I can pay in Bolívares directly so it’s a lot cheaper

          • SegaGenitals

            Make international friends who will ship you metal albums!

          • Diego Molero

            Good idea, do you want to be my friend? ;)

          • SegaGenitals

            Heavy Metal is more unifying than the United Nations… :)

          • Mordors Black Lion

            Not to worry we Ship everywhere
            just contact if your country is not on the list and we’ll work out something

          • Diego Molero

            I’ll try to do that then, would love to have this CD, thanks

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          This one is a name your price, I paid a solidarity amount, So get over there and download guilt free :)

          • Diego Molero

            HA, didn’t know it was, will do that. Thanks!

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            Wow there you go. I reckon they got the AMG bounce after this review and changed it to a fixed price. It was definitely name your price earlier today!

            Edit I just went to band camp digital Down load is still ‘Name your price’ are you looking at the digital sale or the hardcopy sale option?

          • Diego Molero

            Now you just confused me… The bandcamp page is fake or what?

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            There is two pages. I don’t know why that is.
            Go to their label Black Lion’s band camp page. I posted a link above but it’s waiting moderation…

            It’s definitely there as name your price though…

          • Diego Molero

            Ohh now I get it. Done, I download it already, thanks!

          • Mordors Black Lion

            actually yes the review helped tons even the second pressing is almost sold out! the album is still for name your price! /Oliver Black Lion Records/Productions

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            Great release guys, well done!

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      I just did the same.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Thankfully I’m always right, according to me. I agree with you on music and accessibility, it’s a bit absurd. It’s fun to spend a lot of time with a record, find something good in it, and then have a “bond” with it. What’s interesting to do is buy one CD per payday, and spend the two weeks getting to know it really well before the next one. Difficult with the endless free discographies one can easily grab, though.

      • Shangsean

        Well this album turned out to be a good example of what I was talking about. If I had listed to it online first, I actually wouldn’t have bought it. It didn’t click at all for the first few listens, but now I listen to it quite a bit. It’s very good. Probably still only a 3.5 for me. The clean vocals kill the last track. They should’ve gotten a guest vocalist in or something. It’s also lacking a little bit of darkness and there are some missed opportunities where some synths could’ve really boosted the atmosphere. I like it more each time I listen to it though.

    • lennymccall

      Rad, I too remember the days of cold buying a tape/cd based on name,art,label or word of mouth. Long gone are those days. Best analog would be seeing a band you never heard of live on another bill and being blown away. Earthing was the last time that happened to me.
      Haven’t done a cold buy of any physical record in a long while.

  • Every transition here has me pumping my fist and going to high five the air. I need this in my life always and forever.

  • Zac Melvin-McNutt

    Wow! I gotta say, I was truly blown away and caught off guard by this! I listened to the first 30 seconds of the embedded track and immediately went and bought the album off itunes haha. This is seriously good, reminds me of all the best moments from Dissection, Naglfar and Emperor. Best black metal album I’ve heard in some time!

  • Mark Z

    Great review. This record is indeed something really special, and I had that same feeling of being enraptured just minutes in as well.

  • kmal666

    This sounds good as fuck, you named a bunch of bands I like,and The Haunted – will check it out.

  • The Lascivious Snape

    Man oh man!

    Open letter to other bands: pack it up. We’re done here.

  • Purchased. To me, this is what happens when Dissection fucks Omnium Gatherum without a condom one night and Rotting Christ adopts the kid. Crazy awesome war-themed melodeath… that’s got a sense for synths. This, my peoples, is some good shit.

    • De2013

      And this could be the comment of the year!

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Done and now queuing up for a listen this afternoon!
    I sure hope this isn’t a prank like Steel Druhmn’s Stomp 442 review!

    • Dethjesta

      Leave Stomp 442 alone – it’s just misunderstood.

      I’ve also just purchased this – even though i have no money left after all the awesome records coming out tomorrow.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        haha I feel the same way about Sabbath’s Never Say Die, people always mock it but I’ve always really enjoyed it!

        • André Snyde Lopes

          I love that album! I can turn it off after the first track and not be missing anything of value!

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            Air-Dance is one of my favourite Sabbath songs!

          • Wow mine too!! We must be related!

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            Great minds, I always knew there was a classy gent under that viking gorilla suit!

  • DrChocolate

    A quick stroll through bandcamp, after salivating at this review, and this album just feels like a massive gauntlet throw down; a “match that, motherfuckers” moment. I might be in love.

    As an unapologetic fan of The Haunted (especially the Dolving years, minus Unseen) I was a bit startled by The Dead Eye reference points, especially considering all the other bands mentioned. Yet after spinning a few songs, this review is bang on with the comparison. An even bigger surprise is how seamlessly that sound and riff style just melts in beautifully with the rest of the blackened death. That’s songwriting chops right there friends.

  • One More Thing

    That was one hell of a review. The featured song sounds fantastic and now I’m on my way to buy the album. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Boter

    Excellent review, tnx. Going to try this one for certain. Hyperion. Well chosen bandname. There are at least the following bands with this name:

    1) Polish industrial metal band.

    2) Czech instrumental metal band with three cellists and one drummer, which plays simmilar music to Apocalyptica.

    3) Ukrainian melodic death metal band.

    4) Australian power/speed metal band.

    5) Austrian black metal band.

    6) Italian power metal band.

    7) New Zealand black metal band.

    8) Russian heavy metal band.

    9) American death metal band.

    10) Australian electronic tech-funk and breaks live act/band/duo

    11) Israeli Psy-Trance artist.

    And now:
    12) Swedish black metal band.

    The band don’t shine for their originality…

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Let’s not forget the epic awesome and very METAL Dan Simons 1989 science fiction novel. The Shrike in that novel is one of the best ever scary creatures.

      • Boter

        I suppose that might be the source for every single one of these bands.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          Who knows, it’s definitely a possibility. Would be interested to know

          • Boter

            Well, every reference to “Hyperion” in albums, bandnames, were from 1989 or later. Notable exception: the classical record label specializing in piano music.

      • Berit Dogg

        Agreed on the epic and awesome! And featuring, if I remember correctly, a weird cruciform alien parasite.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          Yes that’s right the terrifying Shrike the invisible and vicious dead hand of God. It really is beautiful writing I’m surprised its legacy isn’t mined more often

          • Boter

            That did it. I am going to read that book. Right now.

      • Jan Kafka

        Let’s not forget John Keats’ ‘Hyperion’ and ‘The Fall of Hyperion’…and the Greeks!

    • Boter

      I just found out there also is a classical record label named Hyperion. And enormous amounts of albums and songs.

  • Berit Dogg

    Is the bandcamp page given in the review legit? Because the record is about $6 on that page, but name-your-price on Black Lion’s (the record company) page.

  • I love it when I read the review, get hyped up with the linked song, then search the band name on bandcamp and boom the album is available for “name your price.”

  • The Stormin Mormon

    YES!! I was wondering if a review for this would be posted, as it is just flat out awesome. Im not as enraptured as you are eith the record, but it is cool to see it get the rrcognition it deserves. Thank you!

  • Blueberry Balls

    Oh I have been on this like flies on shit for a few weeks now. Great review, great score!

  • UishidoX

    wow! I was just looking forward to Friday and totally didn’t see this coming, amazing album.

  • metalhead

    HOLY this just by reading the review sound amazing already! I’m in class like every other 16 year old ever :( but im buying this right when I’m out of this shity school whichnis in 15 minutes!

  • David Briers

    I’ve been lurking here at AMG for quite some time now, but just had to post a massive thanks for the introduction to this awesome album – it has been years since a black metal debut album has impressed me so much, and I just can’t stop listening to this, so a heartfelt thank you to the reviewer for unearthing this gem.

  • Alex Timmer

    Meh, it didn’t really do anything for me :/

  • Kalsten

    This album is fucking great. I am usually not a big fan of black metal, as most of the bands sound boring to me. But this album sounds really really fun. It’s epic, the guitar leads are really great, the atmosphere is grandiloquent, and the song writing is brilliant. I am really liking it!

  • Aguy

    Hmm. How much does this really sound like Dissection?

    *hits play on embedded track*
    *listens for almost a full second*

    …holy shit.

    • Ronnie James Dio Linnane

      it had the same effect on me!

  • Tom Hardy

    Was interested in this till I got to the last line comparing it highly to an extremely lackluster album of 2015. And with that massive Emperor worship amidst meandering song parts sounding like white knights riding unicorns into the sky to white clouds with lightning in the backdrop, this comes off as a mere knock-off.

  • Nick Maestas

    This is a mighty fine album sir.