|It's already been a while (three years) since "Dead or Victorious" was released but I have been sent only recently; that's why I thought this wasn't its debut till I saw the release date on the back cover.
The Norwegian quintet deals with angst, distressed situations, personal conflicts, rage, perversion, lies, life choices, restlessness, revenge and redemption, while musically it plays a kind of Death/Thrash sometimes close to the Swedish tradition, and occasionally influenced by the US school of a couple of decades ago, all this alternated with Metalcore structures. Therefore expect to find scattered elements originated from Cannibal Corpse, Pantera, Hellyeah, All Shall Perish, The Haunted and Lamb Of God in no particular order.
The polished production spreads lots of effects here and there, but fails to grant the bass work its space in the tight parts; I have to admit that in the end it is not bad at all even if leaves a feeling of unsatisfaction for what these ten tracks could have been if treated properly; first of all a basic aspect to change lies in the triggered drums, which might have been avoided in favour of heavier drums (more suitable for this genre), while extreme care has been given to the microphoning, recording, layering and effecting of the vocals; there's actually plenty of brutal vocal styles and only seldom do whispered voices appear. Still, the drumming is dynamic and de-jaws skulls, whereas the guitars are busy to chisel riffs, stopped or open, half crushing and half groovy, along with beautiful licks, like in "Lies", also containing a cool blastbeat and the typical Metalcore break.
Surrounded by all this mercilessness, the only melodic arpeggio finds its way at the beginning of "Diggin' Deeper" before the song drags back its load of sonic massacre, embellished by a nice guitar solo.
The Hate Colony's best riffs are included in "Cornered" and "Redemption", the record's actual highlights, maybe because there the five-piece leaves the impression of a personal approach. Although this album doesn't show much originality, there are some memorable riffs like the central one in the Floridian Death metal "Cottonmouth" and others following right afterwards, as well as impressive fragments such as in the melodic intermezzo of the title-track.
A piece of advice to enjoy the young Trondheim act's first effort: play it outrageously loud!
|MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - January 10th, 2014|
Line-up on this record:
Lord Mordor - v.
T-Bag Joe - g.
Big Truck - g.
El Nigardo - d.
Sars the Virus - b.
Kattem - Norway
-Dead or Victorious (CD - 2011)