“A collection of profound and epic album reviews and musical articles by former astronaut and brain surgeon, Alasdair Kennedy. Reaching levels of poetry that rival Keats and Blake, the following reviews affirm Alasdair to be a prodigy, a genius and a god whose opinion is always objectively right. He is also without a doubt the most modest man in the universe.” - Alasdair Kennedy
Aleph was action-packed. Hyperion is oddly uneventful.
It’s been half a decade since the
French dark lord of techno delivered his debut album – an unrelenting onslaught
of dark industrial bangers. Even if some of the shrill synths made my ears bleed,
there was a masochistic joy in the pure intensity and creativity of these
abrasive tracks. It felt like it could be the soundtrack to the ultimate
apocalyptic movie – one in which a terminator uprising, zombie outbreak and
alien invasion all happen simultaneously.
Hyperion by contrast is much slower and much more atmospheric.
Aside from the vague trap flavour of ‘Reset’ and prominent bass, it’s less
modern and more retro, relying on synths straight out of an 80s sci-fi horror
flick. It’s still a brilliantly evil album like its predecessor, but the slower
pace and lack of freshness make it a lot less gripping. Were it the score to a
movie scene, the fighting would have ended and the dust would have settled and all
that now remains is an eerie barren wasteland, beautifully cinemagraphed but
with not much actually going on.
You could argue that Gesaffelstein
intended this album to be a lifeless post-apocalyptic soundscape – the final
track is titled ‘Humanity Gone’ after all. However, this doesn’t explain why he
chose to invite so many big pop guests to feature on this album. Pharrell Williams,
The Weekend and Haim all provide vocals on Hyperion. Admittedly, Pharrell is
the only one that actually brings any vigour to the suffocating gloominess,
however were this album a true encapsulation of human extinction you’d expect
it to have no vocals at all and be purely instrumental.
Consequently, part of me thinks
Gesaffelstein wanted this to be more than the eerie but uneventful record it
turned out to be.