Today’s review is about a band called Hysterical Blindness. I’ll be reviewing their 2020 EP/Album “Mysterious Dogma.” (7 tracks total, I realize there’s some debate these days on what’s considered an album vs. an EP but I digress…)
What’s interesting to note of this band, so to speak, is that it is a one man Black Metal project from Canada. The instrumentation and arrangement is so intricate that is easy to think of it as a full band rather than one multi-instrumentalist playing every instrument, and very skillfully I’ll add.
When you first hit play on “Mysterious Dogma” you are met with an introductory track entitled “Sorrow.” A really cool classical guitar style arrangement. Just knowing that I was listening to a Black Metal album, I had prepared myself for an epic wall of distortion to bridge me into the next wave of the album, which it did indeed deliver about 30 seconds into the following song “The Raven’s Walk,” setting the tone for the rest of the album with banshee style screams. This initial track (aside from the intro track) orients the listener to stark, enchanting verses, and then bludgeoned with swelling tremolo picking. A good overall representation of the band’s sound and what I feel was a good pick for the lead off after the intro track.
The standout track for me was the album’s title track “Mysterious Dogma.” The drumming is really tight and driving. Off-timing chugs in the main guitar riff provide that “beefy” effect. I laugh as I write this as that’s probably the best way I am capable of describing that phenomenon. This song is the most driving on the album, in my opinion, and yet also has the widest range of dynamics slowing to a chill briefly around the 2:50 minute mark before jumping right back into form for the rest of the song.
That’s not to take away from the rest of the album, either. Track 4 “The Void” serves as an interlude, as does track 6 “The Shell” comprising of ambient noise, pulsating percussions, evil string arrangements and tolling bells. Each one an interlude that leads into a more intense tracks “Cross the Fangs” and “The Rise of Yhorm” featuring the diminished guitar harmonies and sweep picking one would expect form a good metal album.
Overall I would say this is a really solid release. If you have the pallet for Black Metal, this work is really worth checking out. You can find Hysterical Blindness on Spotify, YouTube (with lyric videos), and Bandcamp: