Gesaffelstein – Hyperion
Written by Sydney Davis on April 23, 2019
By: Sydney Davis
Gesaffelstein is ready to help you see the light with his new album Hyperion. This is only Gesaffelstein’s second studio album, but he has been in the game for over a decade. With some research, I found out from various Greek mythology sites that Hyperion was a titan that was apparently the father of light. That may or may not be the angle Gesaffelstein was going for with this album, but it seems creative if he was. Either way, with 10 songs he leaves his mark on the listener without a doubt. Fans have long anticipated the new album, especially after getting the first single “Reset”, back in November 2018.
It is usually typical for most albums by producers and DJs to be filled with vocals from other singers or rappers, but this is not the case for Hyperion. The album’s only four featured vocalists are The Weeknd, Pharrell Williams, HAIM, and Electric Youth. He does not even have a producer tag on any song. Some people may get turned off by not having many vocals to hear, but instrumentals are sometimes all you need. Sometimes songs will have a great instrumental or beat, and then the vocals come in and the singer ruins the song. I feel that Gesaffelstein holds his own with his various instrumentals.
The title track, “Hyperion” kicks off the album with its techno sound. The song reminds me of something you would hear on a 90s joystick game but with a way better melody. “Reset”, “Ever Now”, and “Memora” all had a dark tone and were generally slower songs. It almost has a menacing tone to it. Then the song “Lost in the Fire” featuring The Weeknd sounds like it would have been on his album Starboy, which is somewhat ironic because much of Hyperion is reminiscent of The Weeknd’s dark sounds of his original mixtapes House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence. “Blast Off” was an interesting feature with Pharrell Williams because it was almost an upbeat song trapped under heavy gloomy beats, but they balanced each other out so it did not sound awkward. The songs “So Bad” and “Forever” are both very chill in their own way. “So Bad” is more of a somber tone, but it has more of a consistent beat pattern which is relaxing. On the other hand, “Forever” is a little more upbeat and has a beat change at the end of the song which is a nice mix up. Now the song “Vortex” is named perfectly. It literally sounds like something you would hear falling through a vortex into another dimension. It is a really trippy song that can easily captivate the listener.
One of my personal favorite songs is “Humanity Gone”. The song is almost eleven minutes, which is pretty long for a regular album song. I kept listening to it because initially it sounded like the same beat, melody, pitch, etc. the whole eleven minutes, but there are subtle changes throughout the song. The song is very melancholy going with the overall theme of the album. I believe that by having subtle changes and slow fade outs, Gesaffelstein is representing how the positive morale in mankind and society is slowly but surely declining. At the end, the song fades out which could represent mankind doing the same unless real changes in the world and people begin to happen. I know this all may be a reach though.
Hyperion is a superior album that needs not to be overlooked even though it is an album heavily reliant on instrumentals. The instrumentals on this album can stand alone without vocals simply due to the creativity. I personally like how he did not just go the usual EDM club banger route either because after a while, every bass drop starts to sound the same, unless you have a whole album of samples. Now I do believe some artists may have the potential to sample some of these songs and beats and do the instrumental justice, although I think we should all take this moment to just take a break from having to decipher what someone is saying and what they mean by it, and just enjoy the music.
Favorite Songs: “Humanity Gone” & “So Bad”