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Lacking originality - 38%

Verd, October 9th, 2012

Hypokondri is yet another young (Lifelover-follower) Swedish suicidal/depressive black metal band formed in 2009, and this Ge Upp demo (where "ge upp" should be Swedish for "give up", "surrender" etc.; Hypokondri sings only in Swedish) is their only release as of the end of 2012. This demo is composed by three songs, of which the last one, "Stockholm", is the inevitable Lifelover cover that is present in almost every debut album of this kind of bands - another sign that reveals Lifelover's innovative, fundamental role in creating a new approach to the depressive kind of (black) metal/rock. Anyways, unlike Lifelover, Hypokondri employs a real drummer, Cipralex, and a full-time keyboard player, Odious.

The first track, "Ge Upp", is more than six minutes long and includes quite different styles. It begins with a soft acoustic pattern under Kaos's whispered vocals, which is eventually reached by an electric guitar that turns the song into a Lifelover-like piece: repetitive and heavy rhythm guitars, few piano notes and a (actually too much) distorted screamy singing style. So far, nothing really innovative, brilliant or enjoyable at all: the track itself isn't that bad, but it's just ordinary depressive black in the wake of many other groups.

The second song is called "[...]" (don't ask me how to read or interpret this title). It starts with two piano notes repeated over an electric background of power chords, then a tremolo picking melody makes the track faster for a while. Kaos' too-much-distorted screams kick in along with some (frankly out-of-place) keyboard notes; this pattern repeats itself for a while, and apart from other mad screams by Kaos nothing relevant is featured on the song.

"Stockholm" is, well, "Stockholm". One of the most beautiful and touching tracks by Lifelover, taken from their debut album and featuring some brilliant lyrics - and also one of the songs most covered by suicidal/depressive black metal bands in the last years. Hypokondri's version is quite faithful to the original one, recreating the contrast between the acoustic and the heavy, electric parts; Kaos' vocals are nicer here, but overall the cover is not enough personalized and it loses itself among the other dozens of "Stockholm" covers available.

Hypokondri's Ge Upp demo sounds, to me, really too much derivative and uninspired, and it seems that it wants to follow a potentially extremely rich musical vein - opened by Lifelover and characterized by a mix of black metal, rock and acoustic passages, tracks with simple structures that lean on emotional and moving sides, a repetitive but extensive use of the keyboards (and of samples, speechs etc.) and a personal, varied singing/scream style. As I was saying, it seems that this demo wants to follow this vein but it fails completely, since its two original songs have no originality or attractive at all, and while the piano parts and the acoustic passages could show some potential in Hypokondri's work, the songs they propose on this demo are overall average and ordinary in this musical galaxy. I hope that they will work on Kaos' vocals and on more inspired musical layouts in the future, since this Ge Upp is - in the end - skippable.