Hegemone from Poland play experimental Post-metal, with influences from Ambient, Black Metal, Sludge and perhaps a bit of Noise as well, on this their first full-length.
The Electronic and Ambient (“non-Metal”) parts on this album are quite eerie and slightly Noisy in nature, or soft, high and ethereal, or even Jazzy (in fact sometimes in form of an actual saxophone).
The Metal parts are groovy (but not too groovy to be total Sludge), with Black Metal-like guitars (although quite soft in distortion), and clanky bass, nicely played drums fitting the riffs, and very evil sounding Blackened vocals (which bring to my mind Legion on the Marduk albums although not as high in screaming). In fact the vocals are one of the best I’ve heard in awhile, bringing tremendous atmosphere to the music. There are also some calm clear vocals in the music, but not too much.
The tempos are usually quite slow, but not Doomy. More like a Sludgy version of old Katatonia, in lack of a better comparison. The riffs are usually simple but catchy in nature, quite hypnotic in their repeating way. There are also Black Metallic faster parts, which sound a bit out of place compared to the other material, but not completely unnatural. I just feel the guitar riffs work a bit better with the slower beats. Sometimes the drums play a Tribal-kind of groove, which suits the rest of the music fine.
The cover-art (with a figure of a woman walking on a field with a lamp in hand) fits the music perfectly, although I am personally getting quite urban feelings from these soundscapes as well.
I really like this kind of combination of these styles, but I wish the next album will have a slightly better production, even this one is far from being bad. Also a bit more variation to the riffs won’t do this great music harm, although the long and repeating flowing parts (like the last song of the album almost in it’s entirety) work tremendously well. If you happen to be into bands like Eyehategod, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore and Katatonia at the same time, you won’t be disappointed with this album.
8/10 – Antti Mikonmäki