Hegemon - Contemptus Mundi
Season Of Mist
Black Metal
8 songs (43:06)
Release year: 2008
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

Boasting a former drummer for Legion Noire survivor Mütiilation in its ranks, Hegemon has been in existence since 1996, with only two full lengths to its name. From the outset you can tell that it takes a more modern direction than that of its ancestor, with a practically crystalline production (bass is nearly audible under the chaos) and a reliance on technicality over atmosphere. There’s almost a Viking Metal aspect to the band’s melodic sections, which come less often than its stated guidelines of ‘mocking the image and so-called rules of Black Metal’ would suggest. This is still first and foremost a violent journey through jagged riffing, screeched vocals and blasting drums, and in those terms it’s a satisfying ride.

The average track length is well over five minutes long, and there are plenty of riff and time changes to keep you involved. Opening piece Itenou Pedjet is a torrential storm, with a carefully inserted acoustic breakdown and samples from (no doubt very) obscure films to add spice. Of course, the true test is how well the song would function without these, and although it doesn’t break any new ground there’s still enough technicality here to make it a good listen, the first time at least.

Following track Because Of War, Because Of Men is a torrential storm, with a carefully inserted acoustic breakdown, and a sample from a (no doubt very) obscure film… yes, you get the idea. The riffs are great and the drumming is great, yet if you’ve been listening to a reasonably wide range of Black Metal in the last few years the odds are that you’ve heard enough to make this a retread of familiar territory. All in all, there’s nothing especially outstanding about Contemptus Mundi. It’s like listening to Marduk – a kickass experience for the first fifteen minutes, but eventually you’re going to turn it off in favour of something that’s not afraid to add a little something different between tracks. All credit to Hegemon, you’ll probably listen to this a good ten minutes more than you would Marduk, but once you have a band pegged, you have them pegged, and there’s little that can save them from the ‘good, but not great’ shelf.

There are little shifts in atmosphere here and there, with Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas being slightly more melancholic than the other tracks, and Eli, Eli, Lamma Sabacthani opening with what no doubt is a perfect representation of Jesus’ wailings on the cross. In the end, though, it comes down to a very closely followed formula, which is disappointing considering the band’s pedigree and that if you listen to this a track at a time it's not far off brilliant. Perhaps in a poor Blackened vintage this would be a rare delicacy – let’s hope that 2008 has more to offer us.

Killing Songs :
Itenou Pedjet, Ai ibur Shakur
Goat quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Hegemon that we have reviewed:
Hegemon - By This, I Conquer reviewed by Jack and quoted 85 / 100
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