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Hegemon – Sidereus Nuncius

Hegemon
Sidereus Nuncius
by Ben Gardiner at 31 January 2022, 9:52 PM

Ferocious French Black Metal band HEGEMON unleash their tormented, dark and aggressive album "Sidereus Nuncius", their first full length to ravage the soundwaves since 2015. Having formed in 1996, and releasing now five albums and various demos, HEGEMON are well versed in their particular brand of fiery, nihilistic mayhem. The album comes with 8 torturous tracks, and, at a length of 43 minutes, the band takes care to build up atmosphere with moments of tranquil ambience amidst the abrasive music. With this latest offering, the band take what we have come to expect from French Black Metal, with its sandpaper-in-the-ears brutality and ferocity, and they’ve enhanced it with technical arrangements, grandiose sounds, near Symphonic Metal levels of theatricality. The high quality of production allows for a lot of eligibility, giving the instruments just enough allowance for us to clearly make out the technical prowess, whilst still retaining a raw and chaotic atmosphere

Heimarménè” opens the album with coarse, leisurely guitar, intermittent like sirens alerting the end of the world. The drums enter with a prog beat spread across the washy hi hat and the sharp bell of the Ride. The snare has a nice natural crack to it and stands out. A choir of deep vocal tones emerge as the drums turn into blast beats and the dense rawness takes form. The vocals use high and low tones to create the ferocious chaos, sometimes layered, sometimes interchanging. More great drums sounds emerge through the blasting, the rumbling double pedal always sounds fantastic and the china cymbal scratches an itch deep within my brain.

Taking a direct sci-fi route, “Ascendency of Astral Chaos” opens with spacey synth in an atmosphere building intro of soft guitar and sound effects. After a verse of thrashing guitar and diabolical vocals, the intro riff returns, this time backed up by a prog beat, groovy snare and kick pattern with syncopated crashes offering us an out of place but very fitting Stewart Copeland feel.  Continuing to subvert expectations, track 6, “Ad Astra Per Obscura” begins with acoustic guitar strumming and a nice simple drumbeat. Tormented whispers simmer beneath the instrumentation in a dark and menacing move from the vocals. Each of the opening elements expand into the main structure, the acoustic guitar being padded out with the addition of rough electric, the vocals returning to screams and the drums becoming a full-frontal assault of rapid bass pedal ad crashes.

HEGEMON have created an exciting, dark and menacing Black Metal album with "Sidereus Nuncius". it provides everything you would want, blistering guitar work, ferocious blast beats and a great drum sound, some truly diabolical vocals and a mix that makes you feel every bit of torment. Mixing the corrosive elements with French Black Metal and influences of prog and Death make for an engaging, often thrilling listen.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  7
Memorability:  6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Heimarménè
2. Mellonta Tauta
3. Shamanic Cosmocrator
4. Ascendency Of Astral Chaos
5. Shape Shifting Void
6. Ad Astra Per Obscura
7. Black Hole Womb
8. Your Suffering, My Pillars
Lineup:
Ν - Vocals
Φ - Guitars
Δ - Guitars
A - Bass
ΑΔ - Drums
Record Label: Les Acteurs De L'Ombre Productions
     


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