“I see no god up here…” – attributed to Yuri Gagarin during the first manned space flight, April 1961
One could easily assume that in the vast, cold reaches of space, the concepts of reality and humanity’s place in it can become a bit altered in comparison with how most of us view things as victims of Earth’s gravitational stranglehold. To view our planet from the window of a spacecraft could likely evoke a momentary sense of peace toward what is seen. Blues, greens and numerous swirls of clouds making up the orb we call home. Chances are, it’d be all too easy to forget the mountain of chaos that has been gradually inflicted upon Earth, through the gradual evolution of us bipeds. Drifting slowly through space among the stars, who wouldn’t want to quickly cast aside thoughts of wars, riots, rape, murder, racism, religious persecution, mindless politics or even the nine-to-five grind? No gravity, no worries…except for maybe the “food” on board the ship. The view of Earth might also conjure thoughts of what could be. If the place looks so damn calm up here, what the hell is stopping it from carrying on that way on the surface? Further, how does such a species fit into the big goddamn picture of the entire cosmos in general? While mankind may not have the answers to all of life’s most pressing questions, a band from Boston, Massachusetts may have very well just released the most suitable soundtrack.
Formed in 2007 originally by the name of Voyager, this band released their initial mission statements in the form of a self-titled EP in 2008 and a vinyl-only split with Philadelphia’s Monolith in 2010. Following around two years of complications and a handful of live appearances, the quintet has now resurfaced under the revamped VYGR moniker. Embracing a somewhat experimental mindset alongside a crushing sludge-meets-doom-meets-spacey rock vibe, the band victoriously fuses melody and dynamics together with atmospherics and punishing metallic aggression. Fans of the likes of Cult of Luna, Neurosis, Old Man Gloom or Crowbar will surely find something of high value with VYGR’s debut full-length.
Hot off the inter-stellar presses, Hypersleep (Creator-Destructor Records) features the production prowess of Zeus, recorded at Planet-Z in Hadley, Massachusetts. Clocking in at just about an hour, the record is bathed in sludge riffs, ambient moods and a furious dual vocal presence that will quite possibly kick your ass to the moon (pun 100% intended). There is honestly not a moment on this album that isn’t breath-taking and/or full of some kind of emotional fury. Beautifully executed songs like “Galactic Garbage”, “The Hidden” (which bluntly states that humanity will not survive), or “Event Horizon” (complete with the warning that “Our carcass has always forbidden this trip”) all prove that VYGR has unleashed their own space beast…with thrusters at full capacity. Strap in, and prepare yourself for Hypersleep!