VYGR is a new band that has been getting a lot of press of late; and while I discovered that they are a bit light on the progressive aspect, several other reviewers hailed their style of music as very much progressive in nature. This is what led to the group being this week's 'Weekly Dose of Prog,' but whichever way you look at it, I'm glad I got a chance to hear Hypersleep.
You see, while VYGR (pronounced Voyager) have progressive tendencies, they really fall more into the post-metal aspect of the genre. The songs have a tendency of being long and drawn-out (not a complaint), mixing in sludge and doom for good measure. This is the style of sludge I like by the way, the vocals are growly but semi-understandable and go with the music very well. It's not like the growing trend of pointless screaming and incomprehensible growls that have become so popular nowadays. It reminds me of Baroness, only less prog and much more doom-oriented.
The songs themselves are a bit all over the map; there are quick almost-thrash songs, songs that are droning and pounding with doom, and then there are the intermission/throwaways which really add nothing to Hypersleep. The album itself seems to evolve in this progression: the quicker, more frantic songs are all clustered at the beginning of the disc, and the closer you get to the end, the slower and more soul-crushing it gets. The last pair of songs are the longest, and the actual final track - not including the pointless beeping of "A Distant Beacon" - "We Drift" is the slowest and most powerful song that VYGR has (that I know of). I don't know if it was all intentional, but it gives an added bonus of skill to the album.
VYGR isn't my normal collection of sounds, but like Baroness before them, their collection of styles strikes just the right chord with me. Sludge that is bearable, droning doom that doesn't enter the boring phase, and enough progressive elements to keep me entertained. Hypersleep is not an instant classic, but it does have some replay-ability for me. I would really like to hear this one again before casting judgement on the quality of the individual songs themselves, as this is the kind of music of which my enjoyment is directly based on how good of a mood I am in at the time of the listen. I've been in a pretty shitty mood all week, and so I don't know if I can truly do the album justice, but I know I like enough of it to rate this album positively. Another listen is a must!