posted on 8/2012 By:
To those who are familiar with Hypnosia, no introduction is needed. For those who aren’t, a brief one will have to do. Formed in Sweden in 1995 by some relative youngsters, they put out a couple of demos before dropping a nuclear bomb on the underground metal scene with 2000’s Extreme Hatred. Before you could say “next big thing,” the band split in 2002, before they could release the follow-up World Sacrifice, and all hopes of a reunion vanished when their drummer passed away from cancer in 2004.
So what have we here, then? No, it isn’t that lost second album. It’s a collection that brings together all the pre-Extreme Hatred recordings (1996’s Crushed Existence demo, 1997’s The Storms demo, and 1999’s Violent Intensity EP) along with a few rarities for your enjoyment. But how does one attempt to judge such a collection? With only one full-length album to their name, a collection of this sort is not likely to reveal much about their growth and evolution as a band. Unlike the Sex Pistols, who have managed to milk a single album and scattered rarities for over 30 years, Hypnosia was never so huge so as to deem these tracks as some great treasure.
The easy out, and the most likely answer, is that it is for the fans. To all those who loved Hypnosia, Horror Infernal is for you, and in all likelihood, you’ll love it just as much as you love Extreme Hatred. Why? Because the collection shows that during the course of their five years, although they became tighter as a unit, there was otherwise no musical growth, no stylistic refinement, no ideological maturing, and no attempts to be anything than what they were: a bunch of pissed off, thrash-loving youth playing violent, raw thrash metal.
Only two of the tracks here – “The Last Remains” and “Operation Clean-Sweep” (both from The Storms) – were rerecorded for Extreme Hatred, but any number of these tracks could have received the same treatment. Most notable in this regard are “Undead,” included in its Crushed Existence and Violent Intensity forms, and “The Storms of Dead Worlds,” also from The Storms and then shortened to “The Storms” on Violent Intensity; both sound like prime candidates for a debut album, but perhaps after rerecording and tightening them up once, they didn’t feel like doing it again. Both serve as good examples of how the band improved over time without really changing a thing. It’s emotionally painful in a way to listen to them as it may cause you to start imagining how good they could have been had they kept going.
The rarities here are most likely to pique a fan’s interest. First is their take on Sodom’s “Outbreak of Evil.” Solid but not spectacular, it strikes right at the core of Hypnosia’s sound. Their version of Possessed’s “My Belief” is a more obscure choice, Hypnosia-d up originally for the Seven Gates of Horror tribute album; it didn’t make the final cut but was included on the LP version of Extreme Hatred. Finally, there is a live version of “Haunting Death,” which is a pretty crappy recording.
So this is a pretty good collection of old-school death / thrash from a band that actually predated the whole retro movement and had the potential to be so much more than that. For those that missed out on their early days, its great to be able to hear more material from them. For those who missed them entirely, this will do just fine until somebody decides to reissue the out-of-print Extreme Hatred.
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