Eschatos, who shouldn't be confused with the disbanded Polish black metal act of the same name, are a 4-piece band that hails from Latvia. The band, who were formed in 2012, features several former members of Ocularis Infernum. Now, just as in Ocularis Infernum, things start off with sick black metal and burn forward from there. The Metal Archives lists Ocularis Infernum as melodic black metal and, while I'm not 100% sure if that's the case or not, there's some melodic black metal here as well, but with the added addition of some progressive moments things get both evil and epic. Speaking of evil and epic, and all things sinister and shock-worthy, the band is fronted by one Kristiāna Kārkliņa. Female-fronted black metal? Honestly I can't recall hearing one before, but it doesn't much matter as she takes center stage and pulls you in with her emotional performance. By emotional I mean soul-ripping black metal shrieks! Women in rock and metal is no big thing anymore obviously, but it's still simply cool to hear someone like Kristiāna Kārkliņa stand in front of the mic and unleash hell upon the listener. Backed by guitarists Hellgar and Hellhurl Caligula (Jānis Bušs) this talented front-woman helps carry what is a really solid debut-album. Eschatos churns out black metal that features layer upon layer of interesting and intense movements that keep the listenr entranced. For example the title cut opens with session musician Jānis Kaņeps on keys (and beautiful ones at that!) before it tears into your eardrums with blacker then black metal that's both worthy of acknowledgment and worthy to stand side by side with any great Polish black metal act. "Hierophanies" is a wicked album that might have originally been a self-release, but it has a grade A production and a grade A delivery. If it wasn't for how short this release is it would be receiving my highest marks. It's short length though left me wanting more so hopefully we'll hear more from this new group before too long!