Draco Hypnalis - _Imagination_
(Zero Budget Productions, 200)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
For a long time I had considered the scene in the Czech Republic to be a minor player amongst the ex-communist states, with few notable bands (Root, Stiny Plamenu) dotting the metal landscape. This viewpoint has been increasingly challenged, with a wide variety of innovative and quality bands being heard in the past year, ranging from veterans Root through to promising newcomers such as Hyperborean Desire and Liveevil, and now, Draco Hypnalis.

Draco Hypnalis perform technical death metal, with a liking for varied tempos, unusual time signatures and key changes that are a sine qua non for prog metal (death or otherwise) and accompanied by keyboards with unconventional tones that tend towards the trance-like and ethereal. Pity about the less than stellar production -- that would have helped flesh out their sound and allowed one to better appreciate their layered opus.

There is a strong neoclassical element to their compositions, but I imagine this is no surprise in light of song titles such as "Symphony in E-Minor" and "Mozart - Allegro". Both are instrumentals, and the former is actually the best track on the album, due to its dynamism and catchy melodies. They are noticeably different from the other tracks, suggestive of a possible cover, but both appear to be original compositions and are credited as such. There are two uncredited bonus tracks, which are merely key versions of earlier songs, and are cheesier than Emperor's "Opus a Satana". Perhaps this is why they aren't listed. Apart from that abortion which hopefully won't be repeated at any time in the future, Draco Hypnalis have the makings of a band that with the right support are likely to go far.

Contact: http://www.dracohypnalis.ic.cz

(article published 15/3/2008)

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