Prog bands should take left turns from time to time. It’s what makes them “progressive.” The last album by French band Hypno5e was insane. “Shores of the Abstract Line” was epic, atmospheric and over the top. So how could they top it? Well this is not what you would expect them to do. Not only is “Alba – Les Ombres Errantes” an acoustic based soundtrack to a movie but the band is performing under the name “A Backward Glance on a Travel Road.”
So technically this is NOT the next Hypno5e album because I guess it’s not actually a Hypno5e album at all. However, it does SOUND like one. To be fair “Shores of the Abstract Line” sounded like a soundtrack as well with plenty of samples, dialogue and a concept. This album has dialogue of course, and as I am known for not liking talking on albums, it is a bit annoying to me. It was the one thing I didn’t care for about “Shores of the Abstract Line.”
This is Hypno5e dialing their sound back and really focusing on the mood they can create. The songs are often long and thus the album clocks in at a hefty 75 minutes. Once the songs get past the dialogue, they are quite good! “Night On The Petrifed Sea” is a perfect example. After a minute and a half of music that backs up dialogue, the band kick in with the song. Songs like “The Wandering Shadows” have beautiful strings that just add to the power of a seemingly simple track. They aren’t simple really.
With it being acoustic, it’s interesting to hear just how technically great the band is. Anyone can crank the amps up and cover their mistakes with volume. Yes this is acoustic but it’s also VERY technical at times. The music has all the influences they are known for: folk, latin, and yes modern prog metal. Can a band still be metal with only acoustic guitars? I think Hypno5e as A Backward Glance on a Travel Road can be!
“Alba – Les Ombres Errantes” is more than a soundtrack album really. The album stands on its own. This is not background music at all. These are songs that are accompanied by some dialogue and sound clips. Were it not for those clips, I’d rate this album higher. Hypno5e have proven they have no boundaries regardless of what they call themselves or what style they play.
1. Who Wakes Up From This Dream Does Not Bear My Name
2. Cuarto Del Alba
3. L’ombre Errante
4. Night On The Petrifed Sea
5. Ghosts – The Wandering Shadows
6. Los Heraldos Negros
7. Ojos Azules
10. Light Of Desert And The Shadows Inside