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Woland: Hyperion

Album Review

Helsinki’s Nietzschean visionaries prove not so super

Having previously released only the double A-side Conquer All & Live Forever for the Finnish Metal Expo in 2011, Hyperion marks Helsinki-based, post-black metal (their term, not ours) quartet Woland’s first full-length foray, and a rather grandiose attempt to “gaze into the future with a Nietzschean vision and welcome it with open arms”.

If that means harvesting the most salient elements of about 47 different metal subgenres, and implanting them into a vaguely black metal framework, to create something far more familiar- sounding than you’d fear, then they’ve fucking nailed it. 

That’s not to say, however, that Hyperion isn’t without its moments, but where the likes of Art Of Ascension is draped in the same threatening stomp as latter-era Dimmu Borgir, and closer Elevated Existence shows the same masterful combination of musical pomp and blistering riffage as mid-period Ihsahn, too often their more adventurous moments miss their targets wildly. 

Flamenco guitars and pianos in metal are all well and good, yet disappointingly here – the latter especially during Live Forever – they feel like an afterthought at best. All too predictable.

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