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Hypnogaja – “Truth Decay” (2009) July 8, 2009

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2009, Hypnogaja.
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Written by Jake Sparkman

From the opening of “Dark Star”, with its moody, dark, slowly progressing chords and post-production, to the calm, refreshing, slightly epic feel of “Cellar Door” it occurs to you that Hypnogaja, if they play their cards right, could find themselves playing right-hand man to bands like Korn, Atreyu and even (probably) Linkin Park within the next couple of years.

If you don’t know who Hypnogaja is, don’t get this CD quite yet. Go hunt down the song they did for The Looking Glass Wars soundtrack, entitled (dutifully enough), “Looking Glass”. If ever there were a quentisential Hypnogaja song, that would be it. Find it now, I’ll wait. No, seriously, listen to it then come back and keep reading.

Got it? Good. Now we’re on the same level here. Whether you liked it or not, at least now you can understand where I’m coming from when I say that Hypnogaja is all over the fucking place. Soft, almost savory and sultry piano coupled with distortion I haven’t heard since…Metallica.

Lyrically speaking, this is far from something to write home about. These guys don’t know much about subtlty, but maybe that’s a good thing? In a musical world where emphasis is put on great lyrics (let’s just bar Pop from this whole discussion, ok?) and deep meaning, it’s sort of refreshing (I think) to be able to listen to something without feeling obliated to sit down and try to figure out what the hell they mean when they say, “When it’s too dark to find our way home/It’s alright, because we’ve still got light”. They mean exactly what they say, to hell with continuity issues.

While we’re speaking about the bad, let me bring up “Worship Me (I’m On TV)”. I feel about this song much as I do about System of a Down’s “Radio/Video”. While “Worship Me” has a little much lyrical substance and musical variance, the only parts of it that you remember are the chorus. It’s a fairly lackluster affair that leaves you yawning and heading for the skip button after you’ve heard it once or twice. Which is good, because it’s followed by “Things Will Never Be The Same”, which is probably one of the strongest tracks on the record. But more on that in a moment.

While “Kill The Humans” has a very clear and vibrant message of “Hey, fuckers, stop polluting and killing our only home. You’re all a pile of dicks”, and can get relatively tiresome if listened to over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, it redeems itself by putting to use that wonderful piano/vocal/acoustic ability that I will forever remember Hypnogaja for. As catchy and beautiful as the song is, please don’t follow instructions. Mostly because once people see you start trying to talk to this sick, dying Mother of Nature, an end will be put to you before you have a chance to accomplish anything. No one likes to see failed plots of destruction, they’re the stuff of bad comic book villains.

“Things Will Never Be The same” reminds one heavily of the airy days of yore. Back when the airwaves were flooded with songs of redemption and the future. Back when nobody cared about anything, threw caution to the wind and just rocked out. Everyone knew the world was changing, and (yes, I am so going to do this) they all knew that, “From here on out/Things will never be the same”.

This brings me to another point of sadness. The arrangement of the tracks on Truth Decay is far too haphazard. It gets you all pumped up and excited, then presents with a lovely melody and fully expects your moods to swing and float around like a pubescent girls’. It detracts from the whole experience which, in my book, is a BIG no-no. At the very least they could’ve switched “Cellar Door” and “Dark Star: End Transmission”. “Cellar Door” is a perfectly acceptable closing song, mind you, but “End Transmission” would’ve brought the whole thing full circle. I am TOTALLY game at ANY POINT for bringing things full circle.

Oh yeah, the good parts! I almost forgot about those.

One of the other things I love about these guys is their (sometimes) new perspective on their song subjects. While one band might produce a song chronicaling the rise and fall of a relationship, Hypnogaja takes it blunty. See: “Apocalyptic Love Song”. Almost laughable in its conceptual ludicrousity, it strikes an oddly tight chord for unknown reasons. Well, for me anyway. Don’t freak out if you listen to the song and go “Ok? Where’s this big emotional breakthrough I’m supposed to be having? This is bullshit, I’m never going to http://www.rawkfistmusic.com ever again.” Not all of us have such close emotional bonds to music.

Also, who stops reading a site because of one bad occurrence? What kind of a dumbass are you?

While there are still a few songs on Truth Decay that I didn’t cover in this review, this was not because I deemed them unworthy. Far from it, as 85% of the songs on here are solid rock songs at their very core, and can only grow from there. Hypnogaja might not be ready for the big time just yet, but they’re damn close. This CD is by far their best and I suggest you go find it (after having listened to “Looking Glass” you cheating fucker). Dare I say that Truth Decay might be Hypnotizingly good. Eh? *nudge* Eh!?

8.5 out of 10 – Download “Dark Star”

Hypnogaja is | Jason Arnold – Vocals | Jean-Yves Ducornet – Guitar | Bryan Farrar – Bass | Adrian Barnardo – Drums | Mark Donikian – Keyboards



1. K-God - July 8, 2009

omigawd! A review by Jake! Been awhile since we’ve seen one of these.

I like that Looking Glass song. I liked that song before you told me to like it. Yum.

Good review. and… how do you pronounce the j? like a y?

2. Andy-DG - August 4, 2009

I agree this album is really great. I’ve listened to it non-stop since I got it last month, and I’ve also found some blog postings and info online about it, out of curiosity. It’s kind of got a rock opera vibe to it. Each song seems to be interconnected. IMO, I find the lyrics really meaningful and mysterious. Upon repeated listens, I feel like there are deeper meanings to the songs than what would appear on the surface.

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