Band: Hecatoncheir

Album: Nightmare Utopia

Country: Slovakia

Genre: Black/Death/Sludge Metal

Release Date: March 14th, 2024

Label: Total Dissonance Worship

Author: Michael Litteral


Welcome to the unfathomable mechanics of dreamscape, and the separation between self and mind while the body is sedated. Do other realms exist or is it all an imaginary outlet to express the subconscious? Such mysteries linger, and Slovakia’s Hecatoncheir is here with their overly convincing debut album, “Nightmare Utopia.”


“Nightmare Utopia” is quite the punishment. It’s the perfect blend of death, sludge, and black metal with a dissonance leash enslaving the listener from start to finish. When bands try to connect different styles and influences into their compositions, sometimes it seems a bit cut-and-paste, but this album is quite the opposite. The first track, Dreamless, rocks the filthy cradle, as you become helpless to the unconscious state of sleep. Isn’t it strange how we willingly surrender every night to “the other side?” We spend roughly a third of our life in a state of utter vulnerability to the outside forces and sources, as well as whatever our mind feels the need to plague us with.


Through the forced journey of dreams, we find this album weaving in and out of fast lanes and snail trails. It’s as if the mind is conflicted on what it’s perceiving and how to deal with it. Dread creeps in, and the weight and layers of the mind continue to grow and distress finds its familiar home within you.


Death metal growls cut through your daydream clouds of relief just as they gain enough hope to try and escape its grasp. And at just the right volume as well.


This album was mixed and mastered perfectly. Everything can be heard without one component trying to outshine the other. Guitars and bass are loud and clear, while the drumming production is here to bring support to wherever the sporadic winds might bring this nightmare. Everything from the snare sound to the complimenting volume of all the cymbals. For albums like this, the cleaner sound is definitely preferred. It helps not disrupt the patterns of sleep, unlike something raw/lo-fi that would be too piercing to be considered “dream-like”.


I keep coming back to this album, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. It has enough maturity and musical understanding to help keep its freshness, which helps keep this album from only being desired when the mood is right.



“Nightmare Utopia” was released on March 14th, 2024 through Total Dissonance Worship on CD and digitally. This is Hecatoncheir’s first album, and I cannot wait to see where this band goes seeing how strong their debut is.


Biography:  Michael Litteral is just your friendly neighborhood metalhead who can’t seem to find his way out of the black, and he’s just fine with that.