Label: Unholy Anarchy Records
Italian trio Hierophant have had an interesting journey to bring them to where they are today. Initially starting life as a cross between hardcore, black metal, and sludge, their first records were released by hardcore stalwarts Demons Run Amok and Bridge Nine Records. 2016 saw the jump to the arguably more fitting Season of Mist though, and a subtle shift in sound – their approach to sonic devastation become less hardcore, more grind. New EP Spawned Abortions carries on in that style, being a short, yet undeniably vicious slice of black/death/grind, that takes no prisoners.
The A-side offers up the title track; a 3 minute long piece of extremity, full of blasting drums, apocalyptic riffs, and an aura of world-ending violence that simply can’t be faked. There are points when the song borders upon war metal in its extremity, but it always keeps a slight sense of melody, placing it within the black/death genre. It’s tempting to describe the song as “bestial”, yet that implies something animal and primitive, which doesn’t quite sit right with this song. Sure, it’s violent and crude; but it’s a violence born of warped humanity, the sound of the end of days at our own hands rather than of something natural. Even though it doesn’t last long, there are moments which recall a host of other bands – including Dead Congregation, Revenge, and Incantation – which make it clear that Hierophant have moved on from their early, hardcore-infused days.
The second track on Spawned Abortions is a cover of Bolt Thrower’s ‘Realm of Chaos’, which does exactly what you’d hope it would. Hierophant haven’t done anything substantial to alter the song (and nor should they, with the track being practically perfect in its original form), they’re just playing it straight, giving it a decent production and enjoying themselves. It is, simply, an excellent cover of an excellent song, and a fine way to see out a short, but very enjoyable EP.