November 2, 2014

Hypnochron - Herbs for the Alter

Written by Majbritt Levinsen.

Get ready to put yourself into a trance like meditative mood with Hypnochron's hypnotic, deity-evoking stoner doom.

Hypnochron resides in Chicago, Illinois and has been playing together for almost 2 years. The trio draws inspiration from the occult, drug use, satanism and pornography from the 70’s.

Their debut full-length Herbs for the Alter is an unpolished instrumental stoner doom album, spiced up with audio samples from various lab and pornographic videos from the 70’s, CIA documentaries, and news clips on the Church of Satan. The raw DIY/garage sounding recording fits this kind of music really well - the compositions doesn't need a polished recording and mix - and only makes it more live and personal.

Herbs for the Alter offers extremely groovy, slow, stoned-out compositions, that despite the straightforwardness and almost droning grind offers enough variation to keep you interested all the way through. I get the feeling that the tracks are recorded in one take in someones small basement/bedroom/garage and that they have played what came to them naturally during the recording sessions. I could be completely wrong, but that is how I hear and imagine it. This is for fans of psyched-out stoner doom, but if you are a fan of Ufomammut or Bongripper and their lengthy compositions, Hypnochron’s 12 tracks, spanning from 3 to 9 minutes, are easy to digest in comparison.

If I were to recommend some of the tracks to first time listeners I would pick “Nebula” and “Subversion”. But the track that really stands out for me is “Lurid Spirals”. It is above and beyond in regards of hitting all of my right spots! The fluid jazzy feeling the drummer brings to this track on top of some extremely enjoyable guitar parts and a bass that rumbles so low, that it is like it is emerging from the undergrounds. I also have to mention “Snort” that will surprise your ears with some blastbeats and aggression. A welcome little ‘break’ and I found it pretty refreshing and fun. Never used drugs, but I’m making a not so far-fetched guess by the opening *snort*, that this is the interpretation of a trip. If it is a good or a bad one I can't tell however.

This album is a mood enhancer and/or calmer, and as the band labels themselves as satanic stoner doom I could easily imagine evoking some dark deities to this music. But as I’m not a worshiper of any kind (drugs, religion or porn from the 70’s), I’m just going to enjoy the music for what it is: damn good!

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

  1. This is an excellent write-up! Curt and succinct, but quite evocative of the music (which is very good, as you mentioned). Nice job!

    1. Thank you so much for the nice words!