Blut Aus Nord also decided to release a disc this year, but I honestly wouldn’t pay attention to the vocals. Throughout most of Hallucinogen I found myself more enticed by the melody compositions than anything else here. There are hints of shrieks and scowls, but honestly; they could have just left the vocals off entirely. This is in all actuality; what happens when a prominent melodic black metal act decide to make an instrumental album. Those always seem to come up every now and again with several bands trying their hand at either progressive or immersively technical atmospheres, but you never hear an act of this size pulling off a record like that. I mean, I could always fill in the vocals but they would be about Mega Man or something. I strongly doubt people would want to hear an album with ferocious chanting fronted by a lyrical concept about Mega Man in space. Quite simply, the record is just too damn beautiful for anything else.
The listen is very chilled and it makes me think I’m floating amongst the stars. Not to mention that a few classic rock riffs get thrown into the mix. However, I think I could do without the chant effects, to be quite honest – it would be great to have a version of this I could jam out (especially with some of these riffs recalling Battletoads) without it being quite so holy. It’s really hard to take it seriously when there are riff sections on the album that sound like Saturday Morning Cartoon themes. Even so, it is a blast and I think it would probably pair better with the recently released game Valfaris than the metal soundtrack that was composed for it. Now, this is a very strong statement; but if you consider the look and nature of Valfaris, a soundtrack like this is far more vibrant and it matches the surface of the planet, with a good mix of highs and lows. I almost considered muting the game’s music and doing a personal (obviously I could not upload it due to copyright) video where I played this album instead.
Simply put, Hallucinogen is definitely better off as a background theme to something else, though it is still a rather cohesive experience in it’s own right.