Here at Monster Riff, we’ve devoted tons of copy to the incredible music scene in Europe. From Sweden to Germany to Greece, it often seems like the best music in the Stoner and Doom scenes are coming from across the Atlantic.
Every now and then, though, we’re reminded of the renaissance currently taking place in South America.
It’s a hell of a place to be, and Hypernaut, a Peruvian five-piece inspired by the classics of the ‘70s and ‘90s, is one of the reasons why it’s worth taking that deep dive into South American Stoner Rock and Heavy Psychedelia.
With their debut album, Ozymandias, Hypernaut establishes themselves as one of the premier forces not only out of Peru and South America but in the Stoner/Heavy Psych in general.
Understanding That Album Title: Background On “Ozymandias”
First of all, props to the title, Ozymandias. That title alone is loaded with meaning, and it set the English major in me ablaze when I saw it.
For the unaware, “Ozymandias” was a poem by Percy Shelley (the husband of the author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley) about stumbling across the ruins of a former ruler.
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings,” a broken pedestal reads. “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
The entire piece is packed with irony, the victory of time over man, and that classic human downfall: hubris.
Seeing the name grace a cover of an album? Now, that got me excited. Surely the knowledge of the poem “Ozymandias” means Hypernaut as a band will have enough self-awareness to craft an excellent album that plays to their strengths.
As it turns out, that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Hailing from Lima, Peru, Hypernaut pulls inspiration from the Retro Rock enthusiasm of bands like Monster Magnet while channeling the mainstream heroes of the ‘90s (think Alice in Chains). But you’ll also find doses of Punk and Heavy Metal to keep things interesting.
Santiago Echecopar – Lead Vocals
Martin Cardich – Lead Guitar
Giancarlo Yepez – Rhythm Guitar
Mike Yugra – Bass Guitar
Gary Saavedra – Drums, Backing Vocals
Ozymandias was mixed and mastered by Eduardo Albareda and produced by Albareda and the Hypernaut crew.
Ozymandias Album Review
Track One: Panic Attack
“Panic Attack” is a high-octane opener with Punk drums and swirling guitars that offer the faintest hint of Space Rock.
With his characteristic frenetic vocals, Echecopar announces, “It’s a…panic attack!”—a line you’ll likely repeat later on.
“Panic Attack” is a headbanger with single potential, and it’s a great hook for getting listeners into the rest of the album.
Track Two: Bad Hombres
Once the rest of the band arrives behind the intro, “Bad Hombres” takes on an undeniable Alice in Chains feel—a quality emphasized by Echecopar’s deep, layered, and growled vocals. Here, Cardich relies more on technical skill over melody to craft his guitar solo, and that keeps “Bad Hombres” rooted in Metal territory for its entire duration.
Track Three: Atomic Breath
Brimming with high energy and fuzzy guitars, “Atomic Breath” is another track that could have been a stand-out single. Definitely worth the listen.
Track Four: (This Is Where I) Draw the Line
The shortest song on Ozymandias, “(This Is Where I) Draw the Line” wavers between Punk energy and slower fills. Interestingly, that first fill sounds a great deal like Indus Valley Kings, a band from Long Island.
Track Five: Multiverse… Battleworld
“Multiverse… Battleworld” was a demo in 2018. At the time, the band’s recording held that tinny Classic Rock sound you’d hear on a hissing cassette tape.
But “Multiverse… Battleworld” has been skillfully cleaned up for Ozymandias, and it offers a massive sound inspired in part by Monster Magnet.
Track Six: Worlogog
Finally, we’ve reached the single for Ozymandias, “Worlogog.”
Before we get too far into the song, I’ve always found music is best appreciated with context. Worlogog was an object in the DC universe that could bend time and space (and was unwittingly used as a paperweight for part of its existence).
With that out of the way, Worlogog is an exciting Space Rock/Heavy Psych track that rides like a rocket through time.
Track Seven: Swamp Thing
Out of all the tracks on Ozymandias, “Swamp Thing” leans the hardest into Sludge territory, adding heavy doses of Alice in Chains with flat, layered vocals and wicked guitars.
Track Eight: Cynicism Is Self-Harm
“Cynicism Is Self-Harm” is a song of dichotomies. Equal parts Punk and slow Sludge, this track occasionally shows glimpses of old Corrosion of Conformity and Monster Magnet and Alice In Chains.
Those who are extremely familiar with the Australian scene might pick up hints of Dying Sun, a band whose greatest strength is an ability to flip genres from song to song and measure to measure.
Track Nine: Ozymandias
We’ve reached the title track! As you might have guessed, the English major in me was stoked to see how Hypernaut would interpret the story of Ozymandias into their work.
Delivered with a Metal attitude and the frenetic energy of a band like Offspring, “Ozymandias” gallops forward at a quick clip until the entire band slows for Echecopar to wail, “I’m Ozymandias!”
As great of a group effort as “Ozymandias” is, the real standout in this performance is Saavedra on the drums. He keeps the song ripping forward and offers an incredible breakdown in the second half of the song.
“Ozymandias” is one of the best concluding tracks we’re heard in a minute over here at Monster Riff, putting itself among the ranks of “Rats In Ruin” (All Them Witches – Nothing As the Ideal) and “What Have We Become” (Greenleaf – Echoes From A Mass).
Standout Tracks: “Atomic Breath” and “Panic Attack”
Pros: The Punk and Heavy Metal influences make Ozymandias a consistently unpredictable album, and that makes every song as interesting as the last. And even though tracks like “Cynicism Is Self-Harm” feel slightly out of place on the album, Ozymandias is generally cohesive—and buoyed by songs like “Atomic Breath,” “Panic Attack,” and “Ozymandias.”
Cons: Ozymandias is a strong album through and through, but it’s occasionally held back by its eclectic range of influences. While there’s certainly something for everyone in Ozymandias, a refusal to commit to one or two directions means this is an album that could alienate listeners who hop on for only part of the ride.