Hateful / Complex, fascinating and engaging Italian Technical Death Metal

From The Abyss: 23 September 2020

Italian Technical Death Metal trio Hateful are set to release their third full length, their first with Transcending Obscurity Records.

Titled ‘Set Forever On Me’, it is an album that delivers exactly what I would hope for from a Technical Metal album; nicely syncopated complexity by the bucketful, with layer after layer of patterning, woven together with deft intricacy.

Hateful – Set Forever On Me (Transcending Obscurity Records)

Release Date: 25 September 2020

Words: Jools Green

You can definitely notice influences from many of the early Technical Death Metal bands like Atheist, Gorguts and Disincarnate, but there is also a very Italian thing going on in there too. The kind of random tangle to the sound you get from Italian Death Metal bands such as Defechate or Humangled, and vocally you get an rasping old school growl, which also has a reasonable degree of clarity of content to the delivery.

The eleven track, thirty-eight minute release opens with ‘On the Brink of the Ravine’ which bursts forth with spirals of riffing that develops an engaging melody to it’s undercurrent as it progresses. With the drum work punching through, along with the vocals and an intricate, slightly discordant burst of second half lead work, it is an impressive start to the album.

‘Oxygen Catastrophe’ has a jazz like syncopation to it’s opening riffs, developing into a complex and unpredictable technical drive. Another good track and the unrelenting gallop continues with ‘Phosphenes’, which has a slightly more old school leaning and the riffs are applied a little more sparingly but to great effect.

This allows the rather impressive drum delivery to be better noticed, something it deserves given the technical complexity and skill also applied here.

‘The Irretrievable Dissolution Process on the Shores of Time’ is both technical and groovy, thanks to some slick tempo switching and a discreet nod to Slayer woven in for good measure.

‘Will-Crushing Wheel’ has a groovy undercurrent, a crazy technical top layer and a chunk of lead work that threatens to be thrashy, only to change it’s mind. On paper the notion seems insane, but in practice it works perfectly.

This is followed by ‘Caldera’, a compact punchy chunk of technical goodness and no time is wasted getting started with ‘Time Flows Differently’, a track which has an abundance of fascinating tempo switching, dropping back with dramatic effect in the second half. I particularly liked this track because I really could not guess where it was heading.

‘Our Gold Shined in Vain’ takes a different path initially, quiet and reflective to open, but when it does build, there is a darkness to the riffing. It tails away to a more reflective but still complex delivery in the latter parts, and this slower pace demonstrates how technically impressive these musicians are, as you can focus more clearly on all the intricacies.

Full throttle fans need not despair as the tempo elevates again with ‘The Nihil Truth’, driving through to the final two tracks, the dark and punchy ‘River’s Breath’, with its manic midpoint, and closing on the ‘The Proof’, with its great mid-point direction shift.

‘Set Forever On Me’ should appeal to fans of bands such as Gorguts, Disincarnate, Suffocation, Spawn of Possession, Immolation, Archspire and Deeds of Flesh.

It is available from Transcending Obscurity Records as an 8-panel Digipak CD with 12-page booklet.

A fascinating and engaging listen.

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