HEGEMONE - Luminosity (Self financed CD 2014)
Maybe I am not the biggest and most fanatical fan of post metal in general, but I do admit to like this style, to like that sound and exceptionally good atmosphere of such music. There are some bands like Russian Circles, Pelican, Isis, Long Distance Calling, Fleshworld and some more, which I just can listen to all day long. And there are obviously also quite few outstanding black metal bands, which combine the post metal playing and mood with black metal characteristics – something I also like a lot also and find so special. So, I am not a stranger to this whole style and I am also not someone who feels disgust for the more progressive side of this music – and I write that as I know that there are some die hard antagonists to such progressive side of the extreme. Which is not my headache and problem. But I got immediately interested in Polish band called Hegemone, when they contacted me to review their debut album “Luminosity”. So, I spent last six or seven days on listening to this CD and I must admit it was a great pleasure and a very good experience.
I think that “Luminosity” is not an album, which will bore you, as there are so many surprises, so many specials in every song… Sure, the whole thing is mainly about building the atmosphere, the proper feeling, with great, well built song structures, long instrumental passages, etc, but it’s also properly aggressive and even harsh in some moments, so I think it’s not an album for post (black) metal fanatics exclusively and maybe more people will be able to find something interesting in it. Which I hope will turn this way and provide Hegemone a lot of attention - with “Luminosity” they certainly deserve it! Anyway, as mentioned before, I see this album as some truly worthy and impressive piece. Ever since the first listen, Hegemone caught my attention and I have listened to the whole album many times now, every time with a great interest.
As mentioned before, one of the main characteristics of “Luminosity” is its great diversity and the careful setting up of the atmosphere. Take the first two songs now; “Diurnal” opens the album in quite harsh way and it is a very good opener indeed. The tempo is rather slow, the riffs seem to crawl in the murky surrounding; stylistically it is very close to some post black metal bands, so I have been hooked immediately. But then there’s really outstanding piece titled “The Hunt Within”, which is over seven minutes long instrumental track, filled with killer post metal riffing (which actually seems to be quite simple and almost monotonous, but not in negative meaning of this word, but rather as mesmerizing), which build the tension perfectly… and the real highlight of the song is use of the saxophone, which adds something truly sick and twisted to it. But damn, I like it a lot. This is one of the main reasons, why I like this whole style of extreme music… sometimes you don’t even need the vocals, if the riffs speak for themselves and generate almost sort of hypnotizing mood. And that is exactly the case of “Luminosity” and this instrumental song especially. But of course there are even more truly great parts and surprises on the album. “Away From the Sun” for that case begins with slow, atmospheric part only to be surpassed by a fast, almost classic black metal riff! Maybe some listeners will say that blasting part can destroy the atmosphere of the music, but I don’t think so and definitely “Away From the Sun” is one of my personal favourites on the album. But even more I like “Lowborn” – what a great combination of heavy riff and melancholy, with some gloomy sounds of keyboard. Finally the album is summarized by “XXXIX”, which is also the longest track (with over 12 minutes on the clock!) and also the most epic, I suppose – just listen to how it is built, especially in the beginning.
I am not saying that “Luminosity” is a perfect album, as there can always be some better songs, better arrangements… maybe Hegemone can concentrate even more on the long, instrumental parts, maybe they can add some clean vocals… who knows what plans the band have for the future. But I know one thing – “Luminosity” is damn solid and good debut CD. I am very pleased with it, I have enjoyed it totally, so my sincere congrats to the band for releasing such a good debut. I definitely will recommend Hegemone to all and will keep my eyes open on the future of this band!
Standout tracks: “Diurnal”, “The Hunt Within”, “Lowborn”
Final rate: 80/100