I like my Deathcore how I like my Super-Villains; totally malevolent and compellingly unpredictable! Follow this dictum and you too can make worthwhile music within what is perhaps Metals most maligned sub-genre.
I had not been in touch with the boys from Hyperion during the recording of The Nibiru Cataclysm, but they obviously share the same aesthetic sensibilities as myself. Since the record they have produced is packed with moments of simpering evil, looking to catch you unaware, should you be foolish enough to turn your back on them.
This EP stakes its ground as a mid-point between Neo-DC bands such as Ovid’s Withering and those with a more traditional approach like Arsonists Get All The Girls. It manages to succeed within this synthetic position by being as vicious as an unsupervised child and packed with intricate changes of tempo and metre.
Conversely its quieter moments reveal an awareness of how to make threatening and spooky music; minor chord progressions used like stepping stones to guide the listener across a foetid and carnivorous landscape. But these moments of stealth repose are used sparingly, but with artful placement, to set up a precipitous ledge from which to drop bludgeoning riffs. Of which Hyperion have a considerable store.
Successful choice of tone is vital for Deathcore to be truly effective and Hyperion have been fairly astute in their decision making in this regard. For their intense chug patterns, they selected sounds which are short and searingly over-driven. This is contrasted by the unmodified sound of the lead guitar, creating a juxtaposition of features through which layers of aggression and essential evil are accreted.
Another truly effective contrast is the hyper-kinetic and volatile drums. They blister the skin around the scar-tissue of riffs with muscular blasts, creating as many phrases of their own as they bolster. This being said, despite their self-motivated existence they maintain enough central focus to not sound out of place and provide a sincere level of dynamic brutalism; an essential component of malicious and therefore successful Deathcore.
The vocals are appropriate and impressive without attempting to re-write the DC rulebook. They lurch from harrowing Black-metal rasps to basso-agresso guttural dredges. They add the required depth of darkness yet just fall short of branding ‘Nibiru’ with a distinct, identifying personality that would provide Hyperion with the essential separation from the other bands who operate equally successfully in this field.
This is where I must offer my own modicum of criticism. Regardless of the substantial enjoyment I derived from this album, I found myself searching for layers of character that would put clear blue water between Hyperion and their DC contemporaries. There are sections that indicate some Tech-Metal influence and when these are allowed to flower they generate a substantial and memorable groove, which I would have liked to have heard more of.
However, these are highly personal and petty detriments which should not deter you from giving The Nibiru Cataclysm the privilege of your attention. It fulfils my idiosyncratic and somewhat fanciful check-list of Deathcore requirements and made me pull enough screw-faces while listening to cause my wife concern. Now if that isn’t the purpose of Deathcore, I don’t know what is!