ALBUM REVIEW: Bedsore – Hypnagogic Hallucinations

Release Date: July 24th 2020
Label: 20 Buck Spin
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With a name like Bedsore and an indecipherable font to match, you’d be forgiven for expecting some form of porngrind, complete with squelchy, unintelligible vocals and immature, gross out song titles.

Instead, ‘Hypnagogic Hallucinations’, the debut full-length from the Roman four-piece, is honestly one of the most intriguing and unique pieces of extreme metal to come out all year.

When we think of the term “progressive death metal”, who springs to mind? 2000s era Opeth? Perhaps, but if their career trajectory has taught us anything, it’s that they were always a prog band in disguise to begin with. Bedsore, on the other hand, perform what can only be defined as progressive death metal. Their pieces are lengthy, complex, and initially challenging to unravel, which makes for rewarding repeat listens.

Make no mistake, this is heavy, malodorous material, but it’s interwoven with such fascinating and lush instrumentation. It takes a certain level of bravado and creativity to open your album with a two-part, predominately instrumental slow burn, layered with vaudevillian organ and John Carpenter-esque synths.

From there, it’s a steep descent down into the chasms of pain and blackness. At times, epic and grandiose, yet vehemently tortured and constantly in the throes of agony. The band possess a modern flare for progressive composition, which is effortlessly fused to the compressed, claustrophobic atmosphere of classic blackened death.

Patience is required to fully unpack the grim spoils to behold, while at a tight forty minutes, the album never overstays its welcome. Rather, once you feel you’ve finally found your footing amongst the harsh, swelling, mutated beauty there is to behold, it’s all over, and you’re left to find your own way out.

For a genre that is perceived to have such few places to really go in terms of creative freedom, ‘Hypnagogic Hallucinations’, does the unthinkable by simultaneously being an artful, expansive collection of intricate, dynamic beauty as well as one of the most grief-stricken, vile, and hopeless offerings to modern metal in quite some time. Truly a triumph, Bedsore have delivered a cult classic in the making.