HYPNOS 69 - Promise Of A New Moon

Hypnos 69 - Promise Of A New Moon

9 songs
43:33 minutes
***** *****
Rock'n'Roll Radio


The cover artwork is just screaming stoner rock in your face, and the use of predominantly orange and brown colours undermines the prejudice. I was not that thrilled at first to listen to Promise Of A New Moon, the second full-length album by this Belgian power three-piece. The opener Vertigo starts like a regular stoner rock song, with lots of energy though, and drawing parallels to the cream of late-Nineties desert sounds like Fu Manchu for instance. While browsing the info sheets, I noticed that the band uses also a lot of unusual instruments like Rhodes piano, theremin, baritone guitar and many weird stuff more. Also were they supported by a certain Steven Marx on saxophone and clarinet.

But already the second song, Paralyse, does my imagination more justice. This is in some ways a regular pop song, but played with such an authentic Seventies flair that it's making the band irresistible from that moment on. Especially since they have the guts to go one from there with more mellow stuff. The Devil Knows My Name is a psychedelic miniature with the right amount of strangeness to prepare you for the first and best masterpiece of the album: Burning Ambition. This is purest space rock, with no parallels to present bands whatsoever. Hawkwindish soundscapes make me dream of the big live albums of the early 70s, and it's here where you see what can be done with synthesizers. The following Cradle Rock is a cover version by Rory Gallagher and shows that the Belgians know how to boogie. Not my preferred style of music, but done with a lot of conviction. As if we need to relax, the second epic These Are Dreams is like sonic marshmallow tripping. Not much happening in these seven and a half minutes, but it's a beautiful song you could listen to for an eternity. The Kaleidoscope Voyager continues the direction, being a bit more song-oriented though. The second-to-last track Kaleidoscope showcases Hypnos69's progressive influences, before the short but excellent Pink-Floydalike Married To The Sea ends an exceptional album.

This keeps me with the surprise that for the first time since I don't know when, I have been commenting on every single song of an album. Hypnos69 used to write longer songs in the past, but shortening their music has brought them a lot of hit potential, and a repertoire ranging from stoner hard rock to mellow psychedelic journeys to the very depths of your mind. Apart from Motorpsycho, I can't think of any contemporary band that melds so perfectly 70s spirit with memorable tunes. Shortly speaking, this album not only comes close to genius, but transcends the very borders of sanity. You can't afford to let this album pass by! Ten out of ten!

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