VYGR - Hypersleep (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Hypersleep (2011)


VYGR's space-influenced prog-metal/hardcore opus Hypersleep can be a gripping, thunderous force, but it also can feel a little corny and occasionally too drawn out in its approach.

Comparative points could broadly be drawn to slower Mastodon or Neurosis, with smokey, marginally sludgy riffs that have a good feel and motion considering. "Flares" pounds and stomps with a head-bobbing arc, the band's usual bellowed vocal growl, some tasteful synth, and a great sense of timing when they add guitar layering. The record can also plod a bit, though, given the molasses march of "Galactic Garbage"–but even here, a pretty interesting, more post-rock-ish buildup in the middle saves it, until the overexerted vocals cheese the track up some.

That, in a nutshell, might be Hypersleep's toughest sell. Maybe one enjoys overdone flourishes on this sort of metal/hardcore, but with such a clear post-metal influence to it, it's tough to say if it really does anything but detract from the experience. There's just a strain in the overall delivery that seems forced at times (often the vocals), and doesn't naturally drive the music. It distracts some from a track like the nearly nine-minute "The Hidden" and its otherwise cool riffs. "Shapeshifters" and "Unmoved Mover" (what?) is certainly worth some headbangs, but the higher-pitched death shrieking (and on the latter, double bass, which ranges on this album from "nice" to "that was kinda unnecessary") hardly "complements" what's going on. Also, the last few, largely instrumental tracks, drag.

Producer Zeuss, who admittedly hasn't done very many records pertitent to my tastes, kills it regardless. He makes VYGR sound thumping, sinister, and prowling, enhancing the band's most worthwhile aspects in sound and presentation.

VYGR have a pleasing, developed aesthetic and setup, but the overall package is flawed.