Review by Vladimir on November 7, 2023.
Today I will be making an exceptionally different review for a change, because unlike other reviews where I only cover one band and their release, this one will be covering a split album by two distinctive black/death metal bands. Although I don’t usually feel like I am the right person to review live albums, split albums or collaboration releases, this time I decided to make one exception because I was curious to see what I’ll stumble upon. Today’s topic will be the split album Hellspawn Hegemony, released by Polish label Putrid Cult on October 20th, featuring Sathanas from the United States and DeathEpoch from Poland.
The songs of Sathanas consist of wicked and tight death metal driven downpicking riffs with standard harsh black metal vocals, backed up by mid-tempo drum patterns and occasional guitar solos, while the work of DeathEpoch is much more oriented towards bestial blackened death metal/war metal with growling vocals, aggressive tremolo picking guitar riffs and blast beats with occasional tempo changes. Works of both bands are highly different from each other and each one presents its own blasphemous and hateful energy. When observing this split album as a whole with all things considered from what both bands have to offer, they combine their strengths and craft such a powerful dual weapon of mass destruction. I personally always struggle to seek a preferred band on split albums because I mostly tend to appreciate what each band does with their song or multiple songs, but in the end, it all comes down to the ultimate decision concerning the matter of personal preference and one’s impression of each band’s final result. In this case, as much as I like what Sathanas has to offer, I personally feel that DeathEpoch has a much more menacing and stronger output that really manages to stand out for its over-the-top aggression with distorted electronic music intros that build up the impending doom. Although it may seem that I am favoring bestial blackened death metal, aka war metal, more over the straightforward and streamlined blackened death metal, but I still don’t think that one band’s work here undermines that of the other. The sound production of Sathanas is much drier and rawer in terms of the guitars, drums and vocals, while DeathEpoch songs are much more high gain and balls to the wall heavy, even though the final vocal mix is not entirely my cup of tea.
Even though I rarely look at split releases, I did enjoy this one for what it is, giving out the best of both worlds that are quite different yet in the same league. If you are someone who is occasionally strolling through the underground in the quest to find something that is a solid combination of two different black and death metal worlds, I’d suggest that you give this one a go.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10217