HATE DIVISION - Order Of The Enslaved
August 5, 2014, a month ago
(Blast Head Records)
Death metal with some variety from Nova Scotia here, with Hate Division on album number two, first for Blast Head. Despite the band's skills, the 47 minutes of capable and sturdy death here is pretty firmly second-tier stuff, the sound bringing to mind the thrashy edge of Malevolent Creation at times or a band like Jungle Rot, who just plow forth with USDM, album after album just one big blur, listener be damned. But what stands out is the variety, as the band flips between caveman knuckle-dragging death (the base of their sound) and more technical modern death, with some frantic, Dying Fetus-esque guitar work throughout it all. The drumming of Shane Forsyth is also pretty cool; on cuts like ‘Pornography Of War’ and ‘Creatures Of The Grid’ he has more than enough flair and flow. And when the band pulls back a bit, like on ‘Dawn Of Quiescence’, it works, breathing room attained, making the manic tech-death intro of ‘The Final Exhaltation’ that much more intense. Still, I’m puzzled as to why this band thought this album needed to be so long; their last was a full ten minutes shorter, and death metal of this variety should be concise to keep the impact. The energy is high throughout, though, which keeps things enjoyable to listen to, even if a feeling of repetition sets in fast. So, where does this leave us for next time? Somehow the band’s got to get their own personality front and centre, and crafting a more compact set of songs for the third album wouldn’t hurt. But they’ve got the energy, the spirit, and the staple sounds of a couple strains of death down pat, so I’ll tune in next time to see what they come up with.