|Label:||Immortal Frost Productions|
A piercing wind is blowing from Greece, generated by the quartet named Abyssgale. Their cold black metal lashes our faces and overwhelms everything on its way with impetus.
"Hegemon" is the result of the efforts by vocalist-guitarist and founder Gordium: he started in 2005, continued with the release of an EP in 2006 and the recording of this first album in 2008, before finally managing to attain an official CD distribution via Immortal Frost Productions this year — in 2014 there was even a cassette appearance in a hundred-fifty copies. The only well-known member of the band is Neptunus, already active as a bass player for the productive band Dodsferd.
The band's best feature is their ability to get straight to the point, with no frills or lulls. The eight tracks are actual gunshots, more often than not based on the demoniacal rhythms dictated by Maelstrom's solid work on drums (he is not a part of the band at the moment), but still capable of changing pace easily, slowing down and then abruptly rushing again ("Hunting Horn"). On the other hand, the guitars played by Cordyceps and Gordium comfortably switch between fast scales ("Anoint Wounds With Poison") and the cutting melodies reminiscent of the Swedish school, also mixing them with some wider openings, proud and with an almost epic vibe ("Ancestral Cult"); both musicians exhibit a notable technique and use it to serve the band's cause. The only moment slightly resembling a pause for a breath is the ambient-like coda from "Anileo".
Abyssgale came up with an extremely well-rounded formula that doesn't need to overdo any of the elements in order to be appreciated, as proven by a production that managed to give the right value to each element, including the vocals. In this respect, Gordium's performance is balanced and sports a poisonous and authoritative screaming, at times attained through filters.
"Hegemon" is a solid album, powerful and easy to grasp; it will be appreciated by fans of Scandinavian black metal, although it has been produced in Southern Europe. Its ingredients may be well-known, but the soup is really tasty!