Review – Black Rabbit – Hypnosomnia

Dutch Black Thrashers Black Rabbit dropped their debut album a few weeks ago… here’s Gareths review…

The first thing that crossed my mind when I had this one through, was why Black Rabbit, it didn’t scream metal to me, and then I thought about when I was a kid and how terrified I was watching ‘Water ship Down’ and the black rabbit of death where it was the grim reaper of the rabbit world who took rabbits away at their predestined time of death! The band certainly has that same macabre atmosphere to their music that panicked me as a little child, whether it was an influence I’m not sure, but it’s a thought.

‘Hypnosomnia’ is the band’s first full length release, and is a noticeable set-up form the debut EP ‘Warren of Necrosis’, the biggest difference being the change in vocals, with Nino Thomas adding a new depth to the proceedings, but the music itself has come on leaps and bounds also!

The whole albums track-listing is based on a loose concept that translates to the patterns, tempos and activity of the human brain during its sleeping process, and the band structured a story that follows the Black Rabbit hypnotizing his victims to sleep (by reading to them from his book), in order to condemn them to hell! How’s that for a concept, the album kicks off with the nightmarish intro of the title-track, the twisted eastern influenced melodies, setting up the dark ordeal to come.

Neverending’ continues from where the titular track left off and is a blisteringly fast and heavy track with quick leads and a rhythmically changing structure. The band rarely let up with the likes of ‘Culmination of Hate’ while the tempo is a bit slower, the tight riffs, from founding members, guitarists Hidde Hofland and Jelle Brekelmans, mean it’s no less intense.

The sound because of the vocals immediately brings to mind death metal, but the music is more firmly rooted in thrash. This is no more showcased than on ‘False Awakenings’ with the pummelling drums of Max Hendriks, and the pulsing bass of Robbin van de Bor. ‘Judgement Day’ is the longest track and is a bit more mid-paced intricate, while one of the only moments of respite is the opening of ‘Descending’, but that is short lived, and the battering soon continues. And closer ‘Hellfire’ concludes the album with each member pushing themselves and each other to the limits.

This is definitely an album that rewards repeated listens, the first few playthroughs can be a bit overwhelming, but with each subsequent play of the album subtle points are revealed that could easily be missed upon at first.I highly recommend a dive down the rabbit hole….

Go hunt it down now –

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