Hoplites - Ψευδομένη (2023)Release ID: 41908
Despite all the initial outward impressions of Hoplites promising Hellenic Black Metal, the project is actually from Ningbo in Zhejiang province, China and so has caught me on the back foot from the off. This is an album of full-blooded, blasting, dissonant black metal with a heavy death metal influence. Liu Zhenyang chucks everything at it, presenting a bit of a wall-of-sound with a drum machine that, even though it's a machine, sounds like it's about to have an aneurysm, so much blasting is it asked to do. Of course, I'm not keen on such obvious use of drum machines, so that is a minus point I'm afraid. The whole album feels constipated and restricted, despite the dissonant elements being to the fore and he doesn't allow the tracks any time to breathe, so the listener is just battered relentlessly with no time to take stock of things, which I think is something you need to be able to do with a technical/dissonant album of metal like this otherwise it just feels like a beating.