Hypnotic Dirge 2012/13 | Solipsist Anthems (2012)

'Solipsist Anthems' marks four years for the Canadian Record Label, Hypnotic Dirge Records. As in previous years, a free compilation has been released to commemorate. This year's compilation may very well be the largest one yet as the main audio portion is fourteen songs long as runs for nearly two hours with an additional six bonus tracks. Additionally there's six music videos to be downloaded and photos to be viewed, and of course the compilation also has fantastic downloadable artwork, which you could surely download and print up yourself after burning all the material to CDR's. However, if you want further details on the contents as well as a tracklisting you'll have to visit Hypnotic Dirge for all that. Therefore, why don't I cut to the chase and tell you a bit about the music present on, Solipsist Anthems.

Odradek Room kick things off with a song titled, 'Faded Reality.' This Russian band delivers an intense song that borders between gloomy emotional death/doom to a more post-metal sound, which is not unlike some of the recent releases already found on HDR. The first half of the song is instrumental, though around the four minute mark some spoken vocals make their appearance quickly followed by some gravely deep death growls and raspy howls, in Russian, of course. Lycanthia, from Australia, follow with another doom/death song that tends to remind me of Draconian with with both growled male and soprano female vocals as well as violin and atmospheric synths. The Spaniards of Evadne present another lengthy melodic doom/death metal song that reminds me of Swallow the Sun, while Ekove Efrits's song is a despondent mix of doom and black metal performed masterfully. Netra whom I've reviewed and praised a bunch around here feature a song from their most recent album 'Sørbyen,' which is a strange mixture of trip hop-ish electronics with various metal elements to create something quite unique.

Epitimia continue the dismal mood with a song in their distinctive doom/black metal style, while Galaktik Cancer Squad have something that's a bit different, perhaps progressive depressive black metal could be a way to describe this one-man project from Germany. Another solo effort, Funeral Fornication from Canada is next with a depressive black metal dirge that's seomwhat Burzum-ish initially, but it also has some acoustics and progressive touches, while Old Forgotten Lands song is a very ethnic and diverse cinematic ambient piece that really just makes the mind wander to distant places. Inborn Suffering, from France continue the suffering with another doomy death metal piece, though apparently the band has recently split up, similarly musically, Nethermost from the USA give us more sorrow through their brand of melodic doom/death. Stroszek the solo band of Claudio Alcara of Frostmoon Eclipse offer up one of the songs from their recent 'Sound Graveyard Bound' release, which is a sort of acoustic rock with whispery vocals that I've enjoyed greatly since his first release a few years back. Subterranean Disposition are featured with one the better songs from the bands self titled debut effort, again doom/death metal here, while The Howling Void from Texas close out the main audio portion of the compilation with a stunning fourteen minute symphonic funeral doom piece called, 'The Womb Beyond the World,'

As already mentioned, six bonus tracks are also featured. Alexander Machtakov and Alexander Kremnev are (I think) the guys from Epitimia doing something a bit different, not really explainable, but certainly interesting, while A Dark Fantasy sort of keeps that theme going with a heavily synth based instrumental metal track and Wikk, Infernal offers up a rather melancholy acoustic piece. Both Subterranean Disposition & Stroszek are next with exclusive material, while Melankolia end the bonus material with an ambient piece of quite ethereal grandeur that sounds very spacey and soundtrack-ish in style.

Additionally the video and photo portion of the compilation is pretty much up to you the listener to view and enjoy, fortunately the extra video material as well as the audio portion of the compilation can be all be discovered on YouTube.

All said, Solipsist Anthems features its fair share of bands within the doom/death genre, but even the more eccentric acts all present a mood of gloom to the listener. I found it to be an enjoyable, but sort of hard listen because I felt my mood changing mid-way through and generally I'd prefer to remain on the more positive end of things. Still, such music reminds that life isn't all rainbows and sunshine and that each and every one of us has our darker melancholy sides. For those days or random moods, I'm glad there's music like this and good labels such as Hypnotic Dirge Records making it available to all of us.


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