Hierophant

Hierophant

Written by: PP on 04/06/2011 18:37:26

Lots of Italian releases have been coming in recently, and here's another one: The self-titled release by Hierophant from Ravenna, a record which positions itself somewhere between the murky corners of black metal, the muddy distortion of progressive post-hardcore, and the insanity known as chaos-hardcore, which is of course the term used to describe Converge's music, among other names.

Hierophant do indeed seem to be having somewhat of an identity crisis throughout the record. For instance, "Mother Tiamat" falls directly into atmospheric black metal through its extensive tremolo riffing, crawling doom metal tempo and an overall creepy sound. But then you have songs like "I Am I, You, Nobody", which fires all cylinders in maximum capacity in a chaotic structure that I'd refer to as an echoing version of later Converge material. But then on the other hand "As Kalki" features some Poison The Well references for good measure. Three very different tracks packed into the space of just four tracks, and this cyclic black metal-post-hardcore-chaos hardcore sequence seems to continue intact until the end of the record.

Though the theatrics of the black metal passages sound fine, there's no question that Hierophant are at their very best when they trounce forward at breakneck speed and their vocalist screams and yells instead of shrieking. There's a subtle sense of melody in these bone crushers that elevates them above the rest of the tracks available on the record.

That said, at no point do Hierophant particularly impress. Their sound is too muddy and unproduced, but not harsh and extreme enough to justify such production for the sake of brutality. And even a bigger problem is the continuous switching between different styles that aren't all that compatible with one another. For that reason, Hierophant dwell somewhere between all the bands and styles mentioned in this review, without really appearing strong in any of them.

Download: Lambgoat, I Am I You Nobody
For the fans of: Converge, Poison The Well
Listen: Hierophant

Release date 11.04.2011
Demons Run Amok

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