Winnipeg's experimental death/doom Metal troopers Psychotic Gardening return with their fourth full length, 'Hymnosis'.
The band was shelved for ten years after the release of debut their full length, 'Sold For Four Souls And A Seed' when the mastermind behind the band, Chuck Labossiere, joined Serrated Scalpel. When they split, after ten years, he reformed the band with his original band mate Chris Gillis.
'Hymnosis' is the third and latest release from this new era and follow up to 2011s 'Humanitorium' and 2007s 'Hürdür'.
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'Hymnosis' features nine heavy hitting assaults on your senses and comprises of forty one minutes of experimental, doom drenched, mostly mid tempo, death Metal of crushing proportions and is a unique slant on this mix of genres, a blend of solid percussion, heavy as hell, chugging, sense crushing riffs and perfectly matched twin vocals, both of which are deeper than a bottomless chasm, with an added terrifyingly guttural rasp, giving an incredible depth and atmosphere as well as an edge of terror.
I enjoyed every track on this release, from the opener 'Origin Of The Infection' which was recently released as a single, the terror filled 'Defile', 'Re-Hybridized Strain', with its slower tempo and darkly lamenting feel, completed with the addition of haunting guitar work and 'Mindfold', with an intriguing mix of psychedelic and crushing, doom laden death Metal.
The superb mix of sleazy groove and oppressive gutturals of 'Genome Degradation' made a compelling listen also, as did the slow oppressive and crushing 'Searing Cital' and 'Garden Raiding' but the standout tracks for me were the penultimate track, a cover of 'Open Casket' (a tribute to Death) and featuring Tim Roth (Into Eternity) and Chuck Wepfer (Broken Hope) because as such an iconic track, it is a brave cover and this version really does justice to the material.
I think adding a doomy slant to it is such a good call and closing track 'Journey To The Sun', because it's clean, hauntingly reflective and heavily laced with intricate guitars, very different from the rest both vocally and instrumentally and came as quite a surprise and serves as an excellent wind down from such an intense listen.
Chuck Labossiere is certainly a man with vision who knows what he wants to achieve. He has kept his hands firmly on the reins with this release, the CD cover and album artwork are his creation and he also produced and mixed the album. The mastering is by Jake Sacher.
'Hymnosis' is a fascinating, unnerving, atmospheric and enjoyable listen.