Formed as a blackened sludge metal/hardcore hybrid back in 2009 Ravenna, Italy based band Hierophant have slowly evolved in a blackened, grinding death metal direction on a trajectory similar to that of Of Feather and Bone and to a lesser degree Ilsa. Fairly average in terms of their hardcore punk influenced compositions were about on par wit All Pigs Must Die in terms of energetics and brooding heaviness, albums like ‘Great Mother: Holy Monster’ (2013) had more basally in common with post-millennium Integrity than death metal at the time. To many fans ‘Peste’ (2014) was the sort of breakthrough moment for Hierophant‘s discography where their hardcore influences sped up to a Nails pace and began to resemble a brutal combination that was just different enough to be worthy of mention. The blackened sludge elements weren’t worth mention at that point and by ‘Mass Grave’ (2016) they had managed a savage crossover of death metal and hardcore. With this latest 7″ EP Hierophant expand upon that sound slightly while fully embracing the Bolt Thrower comparisons hurled at them since that third album.
Hey, in fact they go as far as covering the title track from Bolt Thrower‘s ‘Realm of Chaos’ offering a direct stylistic comparison. The groove of “Realm of Chaos” is markedly simplistic compared to “Spawned Abortions” which showcases Hierophant‘s strong understanding of what makes hardcore punk a performative art but shrouded in the murky rumble of death metal. It isn’t a far cry from what Neolithic were doing on their ‘Cult of Ignorance’ EP earlier this year but they’ve focused more on death metal atmospherics and less on the actual groove of the sub-genre. At two songs and a total of about six minutes this EP goes by fast and the two tracks blend together pretty seamlessly on repeat. It’ll be interesting to see what Hierophant does next as they further explore the crossover of hardcore and classic death metal and deathgrind influences.
At your limbs they all tear. 3.5/5.0
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