Blimey that’s a mouthful of a title and we haven’t even heard part 1. Luckily that does not seem to have mattered for the task at hand and first impressions of this Spanish group have been more than favourable. No doubt Latin scholars and kvlt underground musical devotees will take one look at the title and expect something in the way of occult and orthodox blackness and there is certainly an aspect of that at play here. However Hipoxia have plenty of different styles on display in these 3 numbers and as their biog points out they are not easily pigeonholed with doom, sludge, gothic, ambient and death metal along with aspects of drone all thrown into the melting pot. Continuing themes that are very much angry at anything in the form of organised religion and faith we get a pretty much continuous and downright ghastly sermon with the first and third pieces of music being allowed to flow to epic proportions, bridged by a shorter instrumental interlocking piece.
The first of these ‘Vrine on Sacrifice’s VVovnds’ weighs in at a formidable 22 minutes, starts slowly and gradually builds up drawing the listener into myriad depths. There’s a slow tenebrous beat and melodic guitar tones along with a feeling of ritualism as it is all recanted through an altar of easily imagined skulls and incense. As it takes more shape the tribal feeling from the drums and guitar tones give this a real post punk vibe to me, interestingly about the only sub-genre not previously mentioned. As the electric guitar suddenly bursts in from previous acoustic style the heaviness increases tenfold, chants rising with the burst of abrasiveness. The melody however it memorable and formidable as it rears forth centrally over the music. Production here is also incredibly good with everything sounding fresh and clear in the mix, this is certainly no bedroom basement recording and really packs a punch, as the quartet of players fluidly jam away on their respective parts. As with all the bands works to date (a demo, 3 albums and a split with Finns Gangrened) the nature of this beast sees it just being released on a limited run of 200 copies by label The Way Of The Hermit. It’s a shame in a way but with the spread of digital music being available so accessibly it’s hardly surprising and at least this can be heard by anyone wanting to click the Bandcamp link. At the belly of this monolithic number you can feel the droning movement and doomy textures with vocals eerily billowing from the void in between. It’s heavily atmospheric and I am reminded a fair bit of the deadbeat and nihilistic downer tendencies of bands such as Atriarch and Alaric. There are definitely passages that are dark and stygian perfectly matching the album artwork with a smell of accompanying graveyard rot and mould.
We are never quite flung into hell itself yet and it is too well controlled to move into the suggested Khaos that one may expect. After passing through the short ‘Nexus’ and grabbing a breath we enter the final 15 minute chamber for ‘Pvrification Throvgh Amok.’ The gloomy solitary guitar strum lets in no light, ghostly chants can just about be heard haunting the ears and then the sludge laden ballast again comes piling in slowly and oppressively leaving you somewhere in between states of feeling calmness and being harrowed as it gnaws away at the senses. Methodically constructed in a painstaking fashion this is an involving listen that requires close attention paid to it. Apparently the group’s music “impels the listener to walk forbidden paths’ considering the fact I have done so plenty of times over the last week or so and thankfully not found myself completely lost it has definitely done its job and I’m very glad this found its way to me.
(8/10 Pete Woods)