Today, the legendary New Jersey funeral doom band Evoken are sharing the lead single off their highly anticipated new album Hypnagogia. The band doesn’t stick to a very consistent release schedule, but when they do decide to drop something it’s an event. Evoken have been pumping out high quality material since the early 90s, but their masterstroke came in 2012 with Atra Mors. A lot of people like that album. So much so, it’s widely considered to be the greatest funeral doom album ever made. What separated Atra Mors from the competition –other than just being an undisputedly perfect and righteous record – was Evoken’s willingness to take risks and push their compositions wherever their muse happened to be leaning on that particular day. It’s a lot more than strictly funeral doom and if “Valorous Consternation” is any kind of indication, Hypnagogia will continue that trend.
There’s a lot happening on the track. In the first minute alone, I’m hearing fried lo-fi and crystalline Depeche Mode guitars, surprisingly spritely drums, and what may or may not be a backing choir. I’d be perfectly satisfied if the band chose to ride these ideas out for the remaining seven minutes, but Evoken never sit in one spot. Eventually, everything abruptly cuts out for spectral ambience, violin, and a spoken word piece that can be summed up with “Who gives a fuck about death?” The track then turns into a freight train black metal charge before going back into the funeral doom Evoken began with. And it all comes together with grace and ease. Check it out below.
Hypnagogia is out 11/9 on Profound Lore.