March 20, 2020

Hubris - Metempsychosis

By Justin C. Chances are good that you’re reading this while under some level of self-imposed quarantine. It’s not a lot of fun, even for those of us who have had work from home situations before. It’s even less fun for people whose income depends on being able to go out in public and gather people around them, like our beloved bands.
By Justin C.

Artwork by Jérémie Hohl.

Chances are good that you’re reading this while under some level of self-imposed quarantine. It’s not a lot of fun, even for those of us who have had work from home situations before. It’s even less fun for people whose income depends on being able to go out in public and gather people around them, like our beloved bands.

So what to do? Well, there are no easy answers to that, but some folks are trying. Bandcamp itself is waiving its share of sales on March 20 to help artists. (And for those of you griping that it’s just a “token” or some such nonsense, please go away unless you’re also donating 100% of your income to others for any period of time.) Art as Catharsis, a label that supports all manner of avant garde music, is giving 100% of their profits directly to their artists through the end of March.

So what to buy, what to buy.... I got into Art as Catharsis way back when through Serious Beak, an instrumental band that Lachlan Dale, label founder, plays in himself. That’s a good start, but for a recent release of metal-adjacent, instrumental music, let me recommend the latest by Hubris, Metempsychosis, an entirely engaging album centered on Greek mythology.

I say “metal-adjacent” here because this doesn’t have the heavier vibes of bands like Russian Circles or Pelican, but like those bands, Hubris knows how to write a damn fine instrumental song. And although there is a lot of delicate loveliness, they also aren’t afraid to get their stomp on when needed. The heaviness is judiciously meted out, like around the halfway point of album opener “Hepius.” I’ve poked fun of other post-metal-type bands that seem to stick to the quiet-LOUD-quiet-LOUD formula, which can be a bit exhausting, but Hubris ebbs and flows, builds and retreats, making even their longer songs pass by like a dream.

Give Hubris a devoted listen, especially since your other option is to enter the Thunderdome to fight people over toilet paper. If you’re able, support the bands you like through Bandcamp this Friday, or from Art as Catharsis the rest of this month. Every little bit helps.

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