Release date: 24 maart 2023
Hypnosomnia, the first full-length of Dutch Trash/Death metal band Black Rabbit, has been 9 years in the making. The band started out in 2014 in Apeldoorn with Jelle and Hidde, and a few line-up changes later we have this conceptual DIY work of art called Hypnosomnia. True, they released an EP in 2020, but this is the first full-length the band released and we can’t wait to dissect and devour it.
About Black Rabbit
Black Rabbit originally started out as a mix of groove, death, and thrash, being influenced by the giants in the industry like Megadeth, Obituary, and Pestilence. Their current musical style is actually more thrash-metal based than anything else but done in a modern way with death metal vocals on top to make things even more interesting. Not to say the whole album is mainly thrash metal though. There is enough variety in the songs to keep you wanting for more. Hypnosomnia is basically a concept album; all the tracks are related in a way to the patterns, tempo, and activity in your brain when you sleep.
Let’s dive in
Another thing that makes this album interesting is the use of orchestra and synth lines to add another layer of darkness. The opening track Hypnosomnia is a good example of that; it almost feels like a movie score for a dark fantasy movie. It seamlessly evolves into the first real track of the album, Neverending. This track is Death metal as it’s supposed to be: fast, heavy, and with guttural vocals. The necessary guitar solo’s find their place amidst the pounding drums and heavy riffs. A great way to warm up your neck. The Culmination of Hate follows kinda on the same path, albeit a shade heavier maybe. The staccato vocals only add to the aggression of the guitars.
False Awakening starts off a lot slower than the previous songs and keeps the listener on their toes with interesting rhythms and riffs. It reminds me of Death in a way, except for the more modern chorus. The inevitable moshpit riff in the middle of the track is sure to be fun when played live.
Hollow Eyes is again a more mid-tempo track. The grooviness is strong with this intro riff. The vocals sound even heavier on this track, but that’s also because they are layered with backing vocals by assumingly the rest of the band. I wouldn’t mind if this song would have continued another 5 minutes, and it might be my favorite of the album. That is mainly due to the heavy chorus riff that’s equally heavy and melodic <3.
Delta Waves takes us in a whole other direction again, as it starts off as a ballad with again some orchestration, reminiscent of the movie Requiem for a Dream (which kinda fits the theme of this album). It doesn’t really turn into a ballad with the heavy pounding guitar riffs. However, again a mid-tempo song, with some interesting rhythms in both guitars and vocals. Not what I was expecting from this band. But as I said, this band has enough variety to keep you wanting more.
Paradoxical Sleep might be the heaviest song on the album. It’s just a massive pounding wall of sound coming at you. The synth lines in the chorus only add to that wall. Black Rabbit gives us a little breathing room in the middle of the track though, before getting into the pounding riffs again. With an insanely fast guitar solo, the guitarists are again showing off their skills.
Descending starts more melodic than any other song on this release. It opens with a clean guitar riff that evolves into an emotive wall of sound. It might also be the most emotional song on the album, which fit the lyrics, talking about depression. There is still enough energy and shredding on this track, it just stands out a bit more than the rest. The track opens the way it began, and we’re left with a grim spoken word: ‘I want to depart from this life’…
Hypnosomnia ends with the final track of the album, Hellfire, a nice summary of everything we’ve heard before. Thrashy riffs, heavy modern groovy riffs, thrashy moshpit riffs, fucked up fast drums, synth lines, all in all, goodness. A good way to end this rollercoaster ride.
Overall, this album is really well produced. It has a level of professionalism to it that you’d expect from a band signed by one of the major labels. Not only the musical part is done to perfection. The artwork also has an amazing quality (Well done Robert Toderico). Black Rabbit is a complete package, and one of the shining pearls in our Dutch Metal Community. Why spend 70 euros to see one of the bigger names on stage if you can watch our local legends on stage and have a similarly great experience?
My favorite tracks are probably Hollow Eyes and Descending. Both really different tracks but a nice summary of the broad spectrum that is Black Rabbit.