Headed straight to your ears from the mainframe (aka Chania, Greece) comes Rhetort. This is a one man (cyborg) band with no shortage of talent and multi-layered ideas wired into his circuits. John Mor’s the name. He’s a mastermind producer and guitarist working hard to bring the world and web something unique yet familiar.
This all translates well into the debut EP “Hypophora” which, in all honesty, doesn’t feel like a debut at all! That’s to say this is a project with a well-developed and intelligent sound that stands as the opposite of amateur in just about all regards from the sheen of the production down to the songwriting itself. We’ll dig into all of that more through this review process…
The EP is currently available for streaming and purchase via Bandcamp, Spotify, and iTunes among others. You can also give a listen to the goods through the streams provided across this page right here, right now! This includes a beautifully technology-oriented music video for the EPs first track and lead single “The Fountain”.
So just how far down does this rabbit hole go? Let’s jump in and find out.
To be frank, this is one of the best mergers of metal and electronic music I’ve heard in some time. And when I say electronic music, I don’t mean the dancy, somewhat nauseating, overblown, compressed to hell and back again variety. I mean the experimental, atmospheric, and intelligently composed variety. It’s kind of like a modern metal matrimony with Blade Runner or some awesome science fiction along those lines. I also found some similarities to the likes of Animals of Leaders, Chimp Spanner, and maybe even Exivious which is always a pleasant effect. Comparisons aside, this manages to quite a fresh and exciting experience from top to bottom.
Every track put forth on the “Hypophora” EP offers something special to the listener, whether it be different guitar techniques, varied approaches to electronic music, or uses of ambience. I didn’t come away thinking there were any weak links present. I can’t really pick favorites among the track list either because they’re all strong offerings. Better yet, every track fits together like a piece of the bigger picture as the EP progresses flawlessly from one number to the next. It’s easy to get lost in an EP like this and, before you know it, it’s done (and possibly queued for a replay!).
The record consists of 6 solid tracks, none of which dip below a 4-minute playtime. All in all, it amounts to roughly a 25-minute runtime which is certainly a sizeable EP. However, like I just said, it can really go by quickly while listening.
There is a truly intelligent drive behind this record. It yields fascinating results that will keep listeners both intrigued and consistently guessing at what may come next! No corner of this EP is predictable and that’s one of its best qualities. One moment can easily transport your ears from the heights of a beautiful melody into a deep, crushing, atmospheric darkness.
Speaking of the atmosphere, the “Hypophora” EP is absolutely steeped in it! There’s this amazing, dark, well-developed technological theme running through the entirety of this record. Even without any lyrics to speak of, it manages to tell a story of sorts through (pretty much) songwriting alone. There are voiceover samples laid in here and there throughout the experience as well. However, they really just effectively act as additional layers of the atmosphere adding to the overall digitized concept. It’s beautifully done.
The DIY approach to the production of this record also came across quite nicely. Every instrument and sound has a proper place in the mix and it all wreaks of professionalism. It’s quite a multi-layered and complex record so this surely was no easy feat to pull off but John certainly succeeded. He then shipped the record off to be mastered by Mike Kalajian at Rogue Planet Mastering who did a great job as well. It just all came together very nicely and sounds pleasant when played through just about any medium. I’ve personally taken to playing it in the car during recent weeks.
Speaking of which, just from a personal stand point, I get happy when this EP pops up in my streaming rotation and will be keeping it there for a while. It’s good for productivity with it’s atmospheric focus and it’s good just for the sake of enjoyment as well. On a recent road trip, I had no qualms about letting it play through twice.
I really don’t have anything negative to say here. At worst, the fact that it was an EP left me wanting more. However, that is the bane of all enjoyable EP releases, is it not? Objectively, this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – maybe too chug-centric for some and maybe too digital for others. However, in my personal opinion, this stood up as a brilliant EP listening experience all around. I can easily see several you thoroughly enjoying it. Have no issue recommending this one.
By my final calculation, this EP is absolutely great! Maybe even more than great. For a debut release, it leaves most of the competition in the dust by a mile and the experienced DIY approach makes the whole effect that much better. It comes strapped with a great deal of replay value and leaves a mark on the map that puts in a comparable position to many modern metal greats. In the end, my gut feeling about this record hovered around a 9 out of 10 so we’ll leave it at that!
Once again, the record is available for streaming and purchase through platforms like Bandcamp, Spotify, and iTunes among others. You can also find John’s Rhetort over on social network platforms such as Facebook if you’d like to learn more and stay tuned for what comes next!