3/24/17 – Dirge “Hyperion” (2014)

Dirge is a French Sludge/Doom Metal band whose discography I got the second after I finished this album. Hyperion remains my favorite of theirs, probably just because it was my first experience with them, and I was just blown away. Their music is loud, methodical, progressive, and heavy. Hyperion only has 6 songs, each 8+ minutes long. They don’t feel like they overstay their welcome, but rather it naturally feels like they need that time to develop slowly. It’s a joy to listen to each song as it grows in time.

Although the band is French, it is sung mainly in English. It’s very hard to make out what is being sung though, but the singer has a terrific bellow that matches perfectly with the sludge the rest of the band is playing. The lyrical content rarely has a narrative thread through it, it is more abstract concepts and musings that promote an overall feeling, rather than a story to tell.

Every song on this album is heavy and brutal, and the few interludes are kept brief. Some songs like Hyperion Under Glass just hammer away and do not stop. That song is just so grimey and heavy that it just overtakes you. It’s topped only by the closer Rementie – a 16 minute instrumental track that slowly gains momentum until you realize you’ve been consumed by sound. The drums do a great job of driving the track and keeping the pulse alive, and it ends with some beautiful guitars.

Filigree contains some of my favorite riffs on the album. It starts out quiet but when it ramps it up really gets loud and heavy. The main riff is just so headbang-worthy , and they keep it going throughout the rest of the song, but it stretches out and gets more ethereal as the song goes on, until near the end where it’s nearly drowned out in a sea of noise.

I don’t come back to this album often, but I really have no complaints about it. It’s rock solid all the way through, one of my favorite Sludge/Doom/Post/Progressive metal albums of all time. Highly recommend it to fans of those genres, or even metal fans of other genres – you might find some enjoyment in this, at least I hope.