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Hypnos 69 - Legacy CD (album) cover


Hypnos 69


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.22 | 346 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars All through teh first decade of the new millennium, the World prog community has been delightfully witnessing the development of Hypnos 69 into becoming one of the major forces of Belgium's current experimental rock ("The Eclectic Measure"), and subsequently, reinforcing itself as a major voice in the area of psychedelic prog worldwide ("Legacy"). Only time will tell if this is, indeed, the band's magnum opus, but as far as things go to date, this is Hypnos 69's defining highlight of its musical vision. The monumental 18? minute opener 'Requiem (for a dying credo)' is a stunning tour-de-force of various progressive motifs, moods and sonic schemes. The enthusiastic first section is marked by catchy guitar riffs and powerful mellotron washes, in a sort of Gnidrolog-meets-early Yes. Right before the 5 minute mark, the band shifts toward a languid motif, featuring alternated solos on flute and clarinet, but again, things won't take too long before the musicians retake the initial intensity and refurbish it with solid guitar and sax solos. The last 6? minutes serve as a room for the slow, majestic climax, that sits somewhere between classic Yes and "Meddle"-era Pink Floyd: a special mention goes to the magnificent guitar interventions, which effectively emphasize the current grandeur. 'An aerial architect' bears a semi-blues cadence overall, which actually helps the band to augment its approach to retro psychedelia: this song's particular mood is dominated by a mixture of Grateful Dead's cosmic jamming and Burrell-era KC's dynamics, with added shades of early Black Sabbath to provide an extra dose of rocking energy. The jazzy ornaments in the interlude serve as a source of eerie softness before the explosive coda. 'My journey to the stars' is sheer Floydian prog, which in turn makes Hypnos 69 draw closer to the classic albums by Nektar and Eloy: intimate and spacey at the same time, the pastoral lines delivered on flute state a nucleus of melancholy and contemplation. This trend of introspective flight and melancholic flow is preserved for the following piece, 'The Sad Destiny We Lament', whose cosmic mood, abundantly stated by the confluence of mellotron and synths through the bases of acoustic guitar and glockenspiel, designs a dreamy ambience in a most efficient way; once the tympani arrive and the synth layers become bigger and louder, the dream becomes a real mystic experience (? or almost). With 'The empty hourglass' we are treated with another long progressive journey, near the 11 minute mark. The flamboyant energy of the opening track returns here with no strings attached: the opening motif is punchy right away. Forward on, a jazz-oriented jam in 7/8 establishes a subtly crushing cadence, somehow vandergraffian. By the 8 minute mark, a false ending stages a moment of silence that actually paves the way for one last sung portion developed through alarm effects and a tremendously rocking coda. 'Jerusalem' is very different: exotic and mysterious, its central jam creates a moderate crescendo among an atmosphere of bucolic psychedelia that might as well bring memories of Amon Duul II's softer numbers. This great work is closed down by a track precisely entitled 'The great work', a long 18 minute long progressive marathon. Mellotron, Frippian guitar textures, electric piano and bass pedals set the initial mood for the 3 minute opening section. Next is a ceremonious passage full of Floydiand overtones, aimed at the stimulation of the listener's contemplative mind. Around the 10 minute mark, the band states an intensification of the overall ambience by magnifying the rocking vigor implicit in the opening theme. At this point, Marx delivers his wildest sax solo in the entire album. At the 13 minute mark, the band goes all KC-meets-VDGG, and later on, the closing section states something that sounds like a homage to PF's 'Echoes'. More than just a legacy, this album is a manifesto of reasons to love prog rock while we're about to enter the second decade of the new millennium. Hypnos 69 is simply a must in the 21st century prog collector's treasure chest.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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