It’s been a couple of years since we last heard from Sweden’s Hypertension, but they’re back now with a new EP. For those unfamiliar with the band, they play an incredibly convincing blend of styles, melding speed metal, thrash metal, and even black metal into one wild concoction. Their overarching sound could be best described as Venom at double-speed. Hypertension’s vocalist manages to channel the spirit of Cronos. Their music is also similarly built upon a foundation of old-school NWOBHM, though to the band’s credit, they are able to inject their own influences into things. For example, while there are a lot of those simple 1982ish riffs on this release, Hypertension also utilizes riffs that have a touch of dissonance, which would not be out of place on some mid-1990s melodic black metal album.
As the EP rages on, the band further experiments, using blast beats on “Death’s Rage” (though they’re very much in the background relative to how many other bands use them). This song also shows the band incorporating harmonized leads into their sound. The tempos are pretty much always high on every track, and the band never lacks energy. Much like the band’s first two releases, “Dark Storms Arise” has pretty much the perfect production for this sound: enough clarity to understand what is going on, without sacrificing any atmosphere.
The closing song on this release is a cover of Razor’s “Iron Hammer”. While not my favourite song from “Evil Invaders”, pretty much everything on that album is a masterpiece, and Hypertension does the song justice. In fact, despite my early claims about their vocalist sounding like Cronos, he does his best Sheepdog impression on this track. This song is actually a great pick for their sound, as Razor always had tons of those hyper-charged NWOBHM riffs in their sound.
“Dark Storms Arise” is another must-purchase from Hypertension. At this point, it’s hard to foresee the band doing any wrong. The execution has always been there, and their songwriting is still on point. It’s not too late to jump on the Hypertension bandwagon, but I’d do so sooner rather than later because these guys are pumping out great material at an impressive pace!
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"Dark Storms Arise"
4.4/5 or 88%.
Written by Scott