Hissing, Hypervirulence Architecture (Profound Lore Records, 2022)

I've listened to death metal for over 15 years at this point in my life. Depending on your taste in music, this may make you worried or amused, maybe even both.

My point here is that whenever I approach a new death metal record, I tend to have a mix of skepticism and curiosity fighting it out in my mind.

When I learned about Hypervirulence Architecture, the latest release from Hissing, I remembered enjoying their EP releases but couldn't say I'd paid as close of attention to them as I originally intended when their first LP came out in 2018. After hearing this new material, I'm glad to correct my mistake.

Beginning with the track "Cells of Nonbeing" Hissing as a band did what I hope to encounter but hardly ever do in current music. They surprised me to the point of not being linked to the genre tag of death metal.

Hissing's music displays various influences, but make no mistake that this is an extreme record from beginning to end. I won't get caught up in defining extremity here, but I believe if you are familiar with how noise and genres like death or black metal can meld in an exciting way similar to a collective like Sutekh Hexen you will know what I'm referencing. 

At 10 minutes and twenty-nine seconds, the track "Operant Extinction" is a personal favorite. While trying to avoid typical descriptions, I can't help describing the sounds as cavernous and haunting. As powerful as the record sounds,

I hope to have a chance to see Hissing live and hear how these sounds are translated outside of a studio. While I enjoy digging into the lyrics, I'm glad to focus on the approach to how the vocals either rise above the instruments or meld into the mix and take on an instrumental role. 

Photo: Marena Shear

Hissing have three release shows scheduled in Seattle, Portland, and Oakland coming up around the release date; don't miss these shows if you live in the area:
July 14 - Seattle, WA @ Substation w/ Human Effluence
July 15 - Portland, OR @ High Water Mark w/ Human Effluence
July 16 - Oakland, CA @ Elbo Room Jack London w/ Human Effluence


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Tagged: hissing