Psychotic Gardening
Hymnosis

I’m not afraid to admit that initially, I completely discounted this release based purely on the band name alone. But once again , as many times before, a track popped up on my ipod shuffle mode, that made me check out who I was listening to and lo and behold is was these long running,  experimental doom/death metal playing Canadians with ties to Broken Hope, Immortal Possession and Damascus.

The track in question was a spectacular, doom paced cover of Death’s “Open Casket”, which is almost worth the price of admission alone, being a slow crawling, dirge-like take on the classic tune, (making it over 7 minutes in length) and resultant listening  to the rest of the album unearthed more doomy, death metal goodness within the other 8 songs contained on Hymnosis.

The band has a pretty European sound being rooted in mid paced gloom/doom/death metal akin to mid era Paradise Lost (“Genome Degradation”‘ Journey to the Sun”) and the chunky mid paced Belgian scene, as well as the likes of Garden of Shadows (“Searing Cital”, “Garden Raiding”), Agathodaimon and Godgory due to the presence of some moody symphonic elements.   So as you can see, there is a lot of styles and influences at play here, but the band reign it all in to make for a pretty damn solid album that covers a lot of bases rather well.

Don’t get me wrong, the album isn’t going to change metal, but with a nice beefy production, a smattering of experimental and orchestral moments (“Re- Hybridized Strain”) as well as some very strong, deep but decipherable vocals from front man Christopher Gillis, and the album delivers a few surprises amid its mid paced  grooves and occasional blasts (“Mindfold”) to show the band mean business once in a while.

A pretty interesting release that I had no expectations for, and while the name still bothers me considering the quality and style of the music, I look forward to future trips into the Psychotic Garden.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
July 31st, 2014

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