When I first encountered the music of the French black metal band Hyrgal through their 2017 album, Serpentine, I was left stunned by its union of stupefying violence and mystical sorcery, shaken by its immensely powerful and dense cyclones of sound, moved by its dark, tormented melodies, and chilled by its haunted moods and apocalyptically grand vistas. And now Hyrgal are returning with new music through a very special split release with two other French bands, Bâ’a and Verfallen, who have proven through this split that they are formidable forces in their own right.
This new album-length split (more than 53 minutes in length) will be released on October 12th by the respected Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions. It includes two tracks by each of the three bands, and we present the first of Hyrgal’s two tracks today, a composition called “Césure“.
This new song only confirms the power of Hyrgal to capture the listener’s mind and hold it in thrall to the unfolding of Hyrgal‘s unearthly narratives. As “Césure” itself unfolds, the band alternate their movements. At the beginning and again later, the pacing is a solemn but irresistibly head-moving cadence, and the music has a deep, sludgy low-end weight, saturated in gloom, shivering with peril. Mind-warping vibrations spear out of this titanic movement, creating an hallucinatory atmosphere, while the lyrics are expelled by a voice wracked with agony and fearsome in its fury.
In the alternating segments, the drums thunder, the sound of the guitars grows chaotic, and the music becomes more wholly enveloping in its grasp. It creates the impression of terrible but tortured majesty, and a sense of violent condemnation. But the violence of these movement almost pales in comparison to the breathtaking explosion of sound that ends this track, an assault of blasting drums, mercilessly ripping riffs, and shattering vocal extremity.
The participants in this new album tell us: “The idea of this split is to merge different forms and expressions of the dark art shared and cherished by everyone involved. Three personalities, three visions, different and yet converging to a common purpose. The protagonists all evolved together, united, in an absolute quest, a needed catharsis, a common will to transcend themselves to end up with this offering.”
The artwork was created by Le Chien Noir. As noted at the outset, it will be released by Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions on October 12th. To learn when pre-orders will become available, watch these spaces:
1. BÂ’A : Les terres de la terreur
2. BÂ’A : La grande désillusion
3. VERFALLEN : Derelictus
4. VERFALLEN : La valeur des ténèbres
5. HYRGAL : Césure
6. HYRGAL : Sicaire