Hiss of Atrocities


(self-recorded and producted)

MARK: 89/100


This demo-CD, including the 2005 demo-CD songs too, is a must-have for those who need brutality, class and elevated rates of performing skill; you can immediately recognize all of the musicians are students of the Berklee College, but don't worry: they never try to overdo and stun by showing what they are able to play differently than what most aren't; what they do is use their abilities to embellish their songs only where necessary, aware that economy is always beautiful in art.
The Boston-based multiethnic quintet is about delivering original, groovy and partly melodic Death metal influenced by Opeth, Arch Enemy and Meshuggah, with several portions of second generation Thrash metal as well; very appreciable are the cleanliness, the precision and the unusual variety for an extreme act of riffs and vocals, making the product modern and light to listen to from beginning to end. A mention must also go to the awesome drum parts, definitely above the average, enthroning Dürst among the best five US skinbeaters.
What you'll find here are aggressive yet catchy constructions with mid-tempo guitar solos, not too razor-edge but brilliant on the trail of Marty Friedman; these inserts are used to separate the fierceness of the rest of the song and get plainly played with the intent of giving every note a sense of existence. Hiss of Atrocities can cut your throat so fast and so naturally without you even realize they have arrived; moreover, they are a group of perfectionists with full of knowledge of the facts; that's why you can't but expect anything to be randomly put into their music.

Not all songs are fast, and especially "Terrors Align" is a slow melodic piece of Death metal with some Blackish screams but also some clean vocals (on this occasion the most suitable comparison is with Nevermore and early Winters Bane). There's no composition surmounting the others in terms of beauty, also comprising the older stuff, and the songwriting is professional and ripe, never boring or repetitive. Probably many will find the apex of inspiration in "Watchtower of Malevolence", which contains a very brief Voivod-like vocal intrusion and proceeds from Jazz to Alice in Chains, to conclude with the almighty latest Pyrexia, all of them knotted like just a wizard can do!
The differences incident to the older tracks are merely two: first the recording is now excellent, whereas the raw 2005 one lacks in balance, sounding almost monophonic; in the second place the three songs of their debut demo-MCD someway resemble a mixture of early Fear Factory, old Grave melted with Shining and finally Macabre; notwithstanding an ample dose of personality is constantly (and luckily) preserved; just think that only Hiss of Atrocities have genial ideas like the fascinating vocals at the center of "Suffocation"; a singing impossible to describe univocally, the impression I got is the one of a threnody for somebody whose soul has passed away and is reincarnating but I'm sure each of you listeners would give a different interpretation of feeling. And how about the totally unexpected arpeggio? Exactly in its right place, as well as the vaguely Mudvayne- and Tool-influenced vocals of "Stained Glass Flesh", contrasting the two guitars mixing Opeth and Dimmu Borgir.

These newcomers are one of the few acts dealing with melodic Death metal that might be appreciated by those who usually can't stand a genre in which melody is alternated within an extreme composition. Polyrhythmic abundance, utmost tightness, innovation and involving arranging make the rest. Still have doubts on these 5 music masters' competence? I just guess not.

MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 20th September 2006

Line-up on this record:
Francesco Artusato - Guitar
Roy Lev-ari - Guitar
Giovanni D
ürst - Drums
Jeremy Krull - Session Bass (Note: new bassist recruited: Benjamin Ehrenfeld)
Matt "The Dark Fool" Swinford - Vocals

Official sites:

-Hiss of Atrocities (MCD - 2005)
-Threnody (CD - 2006)