We have a lot of things planned for today at our site, including an album review, a couple of premieres, and a gigantic round-up of new music, but I’m getting a slow start on readying any of those posts for publication. But then I saw that Hail Spirit Noir had revealed the first excerpt from their new album, and that solved the problem of how to begin the day without further delay.
We don’t usually feature only one new song in a post unless it’s a premiere, but our affection for this Greek band runs deep, as does curiosity about what this new album will sound like, given the fascinating shifts in style that have already occurred over the course of Pneuma (2012), Oi Magoi (2014), and Mayhem In Blue (2016). Of course, as the band’s first three albums have already proven, one song drawn in isolation from the rest of an HSN release doesn’t completely represent what the rest of the record will sound like, because the band have an adventurous streak in them.
But beyond what can be gleaned from the new song that debuted today (“The First Ape On New Earth“), we do have this accompanying statement by the band about the album, the title of which is Eden In Reverse:
“This is the album we’ve spent the most time on. We started off doing some experiments without any idea where they could lead to. After the first 3-4 tracks, we realized we were onto something new for the band. We were no longer in the 60s-70s zone but more in the 70s-80s. The songs sounded retro-futuristic and surreal but they were also more prog, psychedelic and challenging than ever. In the lyrics, we re-wrote the story of Eden from a surreal, Richard Dawkins-esque, Darwinian point of view. The result was Eden in Reverse“.
Well now, the lyrical concept certainly sounds intriguing! And so is the news that before Eden In Reverse was completed the band’s original trio were joined full-time by their live members, changing HSN into a sextet. Further, “The First Ape On New Earth” presents its own intrigues.
Launched by thunderous, boisterous drumming and writhing, roiling guitars, the song changes again and again, slowing and accelerating, becoming dream-like and seductive, strange and sinister, jolting and jubilant. The rapidly morphing fretwork and manifold keyboard manipulations, together with the variable rhythms, create a kaleidoscopic sensation. The colors whirl, creating new shapes and patterns. And the singing adds another alluring element to all the other changing textures.
At least based on this one song, it seems the band were giving us an accurate preview in their statement. It does create a retro-futuristic and surreal amalgam of prog and psychedelia that has moved forward in time from the influences of the ’60s and early ’70s.
DETAILS: Eden In Reverse will be released on June 19th by Agonia Records. It was recorded at Lunatech Studios. The album was produced and mixed by Dimitris Douvras (Rotting Christ) and mastered by Alan Douches (Nile, Aborted, Whitechapel). The cover artwork was prepared by StuZor. There is a track on the album called “Crossroads” that features guest vocals by Lars Nedland of Borknagar. And here is the track list:
1. Darwinian Beasts
2. Incense Swirls
3. Alien Lip Reading
5. The Devil’s Blind Spot
6. The First Ape on New Earth
7. Automata 1980
8. Incense Swirls (Synthwave Remix)*
9. Ever-shifting Tunnels (Bonus)*
*Digipak CD exclusive tracks