Album Review: Hypersonic – Kaosmogonia


Album Review: Hypersonic - Kaosmogonia
Reviewed by Chris Taylor

The third album from Hypersonic is something of a return for the band. Kaosmogonia is the first full length since 2016’s Existentia, the first with new vocalist Eleanora Russo and the first with label Rockshots Records behind them.

All this clearly resulted in some new found determination within the band, as Hypersonic have delivered their strongest outing to date with all the hallmarks fans of Symphonic Metal would expect, but also attempts to be one of the heaviest albums this genre has seen in some time.

The album demonstrates one of its strongest elements right from the word go with the opening orchestral piece Apeiron. It’s huge and it’s epic, setting the tone perfectly for the first proper track Angels and Demons. When those guitars and drums boot off alongside the orchestration, it’s every symphonic metal fan’s dream. A driving pace and sense of scope that simply doesn’t exist anywhere else in Metal.

This kind of music lives and dies by the power of its vocals. I’ve always been a big fan of dual vocals particular across genders, see Visions of Atlantis for a masterclass in that idea, and that style is used intermittently across the album. Salvo's vocals (when they do appear) pair up with Eleonora perfectly giving the album incredible vocal range.

Album Review: Hypersonic - Kaosmogonia

Make no mistake though, Eleonora is the most prominent voice on this album and to say she nailed it would be massively underselling it. Picking one highlight is tough, but the track My Sacrifice showcases the full range. Calm, soft vocals shooting off into a soaring bombastic chorus that will go down a storm live, and the right amount of presence to carry music as huge as what’s on this album.

I mentioned Kaosmogonia gets heavy. I mean that in two respects. Firstly this album tackles some of the darkest themes I’ve heard from a band like this. We get that early on with the track Veil of Insanity. Musically it’s very intriguing, beginning with middle-eastern inspired instrumentation and vocals. Lyric and theming wise, this is seriously dark stuff which took me completely by surprise. With sounds of gunshots, sirens and the middle-eastern theme, it isn’t hard to grasp what the band are commenting on here. At the risk of this review getting too political, this song’s relevance to today certainly isn’t going away any time soon.

Secondly the album is heavy in the actual metal sense. This comes in proper with a song about a father abusing their child. The track, aptly titled ‘You Bastard’, doesn’t hold back with brutal lyrics, menacing choral singing, guttural vocals and the heaviest riffing on the album.

We’re not finding ourselves in the Dimmu Borgir corner here or anything like that, but for a band whose style of Symphonic Metal is very clearly in the Nightwish camp this album certainly delivers on the aggression.

All this to say Hypersonic are not afraid to delve into darkly human topics and themes on this album that set them apart from their peers.

Fear not though if your preferred sound for Symphonic Metal is more on the majestic side, ‘Alone’ puts the orchestra and Eleonora right at the front. It’s beautiful stuff. Also ‘Against Myself’, despite the furious double kick and occasional breakdown, has a stirring chorus and powerful bridge with both vocalists.

The only potential drawback from all this I can see for some people, is the album is all go from start to finish with little time for breaks. With the exception of the rather short track ‘Alone’, we are at full bombast for the whole ride. That may be a tad on the exhausting side for some people. That to me though shows that this album is a statement of intent. Hypersonic have returned and they are more epic than ever and are demanding your attention.

Whenever you find a new Symphonic Metal band, you can usually ask “is this going to sound like Nightwish or Epica?” If you were to find a band in this sub-genre that wasn’t inspired by one or both of those artists I’d be frankly stunned. Hypersonic certainly wear those influences on their sleeve, but also push the ‘metal’ in ‘symphonic metal’ more so than many other bands. If you’ve been looking for some music in the vain of Nightwish but with more grit, this could very well scratch that itch. But genre enthusiasts should also check this one out, as there is plenty to enjoy both familiar and unfamiliar.

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