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Hypatia Lake: Angels And Demons, Space And Time [Album Review]

Hypatia Lake Band

Listening to the melodic first track, “Her Tears Are The Footsteps Of Angels,” one distinctly gets the impression that Angels And Demons, Space And Time may be a bedroom pop album. After all, Hypatia Lake did release through Sad Robot Records, brief home to Carissa’s Wierd (sic). But “A Plea To Remiel” distills that thought outright; guitars grow with a hefty post-rock, noisy intensity.

Yet as Hypatia Lake begins “As The Hourglass Empties,” the volume is once again soft and dreamy. This back and forth continues throughout Angels And Demons. Hypatia Lake is not necessarily shoegaze, but they certainly own up to some of that subgenre’s sensibilities.

“Jeremiah, Close Your Eyes Now” also begins on a soft note; the song has a startling similarity to “House Of The Rising Sun” in both vocal pattern and chord progression. Despite these commonalities, the song proves to be one of the stronger on the album–it comes in somewhere between the song The Animals made popular and the more loved tunes of Black Heart Procession.

Hidden in the songs is a supernatural element not common throughout independent music of this nature. You can see it in the titles, the mentions of Jeremiah and Lucifer, of Orion and Remiel. A deeper look behind these names will eventually shed light on the music of Hypatia Lake. For example, Remiel is the sixth leader mentioned in the Book of Enoch and, literally, means Thunder of God; not surprising as the song itself is thunderous and loud. Furthermore, the name Hypatia refers to what many consider the first woman in Mathematics, so it’s no surprise that much of Hypatia Lake’s music surrounds various historical items and events — both mythical and not.

Hypatia Lake is at their best in their softer, more subdued moments. Those early songs prove that, along with the loud “Of Brains And Stars,” whose placement in Angels And Demons comes off as awkward and uneasy. In fact, neither “Of Brains And Stars” nor “The Metaphysician’s Request” live up to the quality of those early tracks.

But “The Space That Defines Itself” resurrects Hypatia Lake with an experimental post-rock-y instrumental that could match “Remiel” in volume and its follow-up in “Upon Their Meeting,” “They Embraced” is filled with a similar level of distorted space-y-ness. Structure returns in “The Lucifer Rebellion,” oddly enough, but recedes back into space-ridden oblivion to close out the final track a few songs later, making Angels And Demons a bit disjointed, but a wild ride that will leave you satiated nonetheless.

Hypatia Lake is currently touring the Northwest. Here are the dates–all goes well, I’ll be catching one of the Seattle shows.

8.28: The Brick Saloon (Rosalyn, WA)
9.02: Nectar (Seattle, WA)
9.06: Fez Ballroom (Portland, OR)
9.26: The Comet (Seattle, WA)

[CD, 2008]

1. Her Tears Are The Footsteps Of Angels
2. A Plea To Remiel
3. As The Hourglass Empties
4. Jeremiah, Close Your Eyes Now
5. Of Brains And Stars
6. The Metaphysician’s Request
7. The Space That Defines Itself
8. Upon Their Meeting, They Embrace
9. The Lucifer Rebellion
10. The General’s Gleaming Edge
11. The Patterns Of Orion
12. YUYM

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