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Label: Putrid Cult / Release date: 25th October 2023
Hellspawn Hegemony is a Split release of two distinguished bands for the underground metal scene. On one side we have the legendary band Sathanas. The band consists of Paul Tucker (guitar & vocals), Adam Stacho (guitar & backup vocals), Bill Davidson (bass) and Jim Strauss (drums). These guys have been creating their unholy crusade since 1988, and have already released 11 full-length albums (?!). They’re playing a deadly mix of black and death metal.
Meanwhile, on the other side we have veterans of the Polish metal scene, DeathEpoch. DeathEpoch emerged from the depths of hell during April 2020 in order ‘…to spread the War Death/Black art!’ This act is created by: Lord. K (Nekkrofukk, Sacrificulus, Goathrone, ex-Hate) where he’s responsible for vocals, drums and electronic samples, and Morgul (owner of the Putrid Cult label, where this Split was released) responsible for the guitar and bass parts. Their part of the album is a combination of elements of black, dark, death and war metal with ritual ambient and industrial noise.
Both bands are represented here with five tracks each, which create almost 45 minutes of Black & Death Metal feast. We begin this review with Sathanas. This American quartet brings five new tracks continuing their unholy crusade delivering their trademark sound of raw mixture of black & thrash. Harsh vocals are for the most part a mix of growling and screaming ones, pretty much reminiscent of old-school black metal acts. Powerful and strong vocal performance is paired with some nice and catchy melodies, ditto catchy hooks and mid-tempo drum patterns. The production sounds old-school, while the lyrical content covers the subjects of Satanism, Luciferian, Occultism and obviously Anti-Christianity. Most recommended and stand-out track from Sathanas is “To Bring The Sabbat” – so I’ll recommend this one as an introduction to this hard-hitting US-band.
Polish duo DeathEpoch offers a fusion of black, death, and war metal accented with ambient and industrial noise. Their sound is somehow more atmospheric, dark and almost apocalyptic, compared to their colleagues’ from Satanas. Furthermore, they successfully create eerie sounds with keyboard, samples and electronic. It fits perfectly to the song structures and the overall sound of the band. A couple of their tracks are a bit longer and more epic, offering some variability and unexpected/chaotic sounds that are not so typical for their opus. Another interesting thing is that all songs by DeathEpoch on Hellspawn Hegemony are made of initials, for example; the opening “D.W.”, then “I.H.S.”, “D.W.”, “G.O.M.” and “B.T.K.”. Vocals here are very deep and bestial brutal, without so many typical black metal growls and screams like the case was with Satanas. Guitars on the other hand create some epic melodies, while drums deliver some hellish blast beats and sheer brutality. The production sounds very dark and raw while, as far as I’m concerned, cover a serial killer themes.
In a conclusion; Hellspawn Hegemony is an excellent split release by two underground bands that I’d suggest you should give it a go. For further info on this particular Split go to https://deathepoch.bandcamp.com/album/hellspawn-hegemony or https://www.putridcult.pl/ on some of their other releases.