Review 2097 : Hysteria – Heretic, Sadistic and Sexual Ecstasy… – English

Hysteria back in top form!

Active on the French scene since 1996, the band comprising Sylvain Ostengo (guitar/vocals), Jérôme Christophe (guitar), Xavier Chautard (drums, Himinbjorg, ex-Aorlhac) and Adrien Desmonceaux (bass) have announced the release of Heretic, Sadistic and Sexual Ecstasy…, their fourth album, on Adipocere Records in 2024.

The album gets off to a slow start with In Perdition – A Path Through Nothingness, a soothing introductory track that eventually meets the Death Metal basis to create a relatively melodic sound, followed by Vortex of Confusion, which offers a much darker approach. The vocal parts lend a touch of raw heaviness to the melancholy, haunting riffs overlaid with icy Black Metal influences haunting the air, leaving us to join Heretic, Sadistic, and Sexual Ecstasy, which skilfully couples a furious blast to its ethereal rhythm. A disturbing sample disturbs the quietness, which resurfaces with unhealthy screams, accompanying the progression in this hazy sound joining My Carnal Desire and its piercing leads complemented by a rather Old School and sometimes more straightforward approach. The lament speeds up at times, before suddenly surrendering to silence to make way for She who Spits the Venom and its dissonant harmonics, finally covered by an impressive but slow and mysterious basis, punctuated by a few claps. The rhythms pick up speed again and find some more violent influences, as does My Demonic Quest, which couples its dark melodies to a heavy, aggressive jerky basis, making the nostalgia rather heavy. Thelema immediately follows afterwards, adding powerful vociferations to its majestic riffs under an extremely clear and well-crafted mix that highlights the hypnotic side of guitars, before calming down again with Armageddon must Come, which returns to coldness while offering some rather minimalist passages. The bass becomes more complex at times, before giving way to Blashematical Scriptures, where the French vocals perfectly complement the listless, tortured instrumental that accompanies us into the shadows.

Once the surprise has worn off, Hysteria‘s stylistic shift remains very consistent. From a massive Brutal Death that I described as a « steamroller » a few months ago, the band now offers us a melodious, impressive Black/Death that bewitches us in an instant.


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