Hath - All That Was Promised review
|All That Was Promised
01. The Million Violations
06. Death Complex
07. Casting Of The Self
08. All That Was Promised
09. Name Them Yet Build No Monument
All that was promised by Hath’s debut album was the next big thing in death metal, and All That Was Promised delivers.
After the glut of quality releases from some of my favourite currently active bands in February, I was slightly worried that 2022 might have peaked too early. However, unless that peak has merely spilled over a bit into March, All That Was Promised indicates that signs are good for a very rewarding year of metal in general. This is the sophomore album from American proggy blackened death metallers Hath, who made a statement of intent out of the gates with their 2019 debut album Of Rot And Ruin. As good as that album is, this new one is a marked improvement.
Hath are located within a broad spectrum of bands that could have the prefixes ‘tech’, ‘prog’, ‘blackened’ and/or ‘melodic’ placed before ‘death’, and while there’s several that they bear notable resemblance to, probably the easiest comparison to make is with Slugdge, with all the sharp tremolo riffs, rampaging drumming and somewhat progressive song structuring. The song that made this comparison most obvious to me was “Iosis”, with its lurching mid-tempo riffs and technical guitar contortions. However, Slugdge is a great band to be compared to, as their albums are reliably filled with quality riffs, engrossing bursts of frenetic energy and well-crafted hooks, and these all apply to pretty much every song on All That Was Promised.
Hath don’t fly out of the blocks on this album; “The Million Violations” not only takes a minute or so to get going after setting the scene with some ominous clean guitar, but it also falls back to quieter moments as it progresses, which combined with the slower tempo of much of the song allows listeners to ease into the record. There are melodic moments featured on the album, including some melodic vocals filtered in almost as a background element, but prominent enough to elevate the tracks; these vocals first appear on “Kenosis”, but it’s on the song “Decollation” where they really make an impact. This track is my pick of the bunch on All That Was Promised, with an excellent mix of melodicism and relentless assault (one that perhaps surprisingly has me thinking of Cattle Decapitation in moments, specifically “Lifestalker”), and that’s before it takes an unexpected soft, jazzy detour, just to come back with the most explosive of climaxes.
“Decollation” marks a bit of a turning point when listening to the record; there were quieter and more melodic moments prior to this track, but once the exquisite guitar solos of “Death Complex” are out the way, you have “Casting Of The Self” opening with acoustics and generally sounding a surprising amount like a Dvne track, and the final two songs open and close, respectively, with extended subdued sections. These dynamic shifts aren’t necessarily the highlight of the album, which shines brightest at its most intense and exhilarating, but the quieter moments are very well executed.
A lot of what makes this album excel in the way it does was already present on Of Rot And Ruin, but everything feels just that bit better executed this time around, and those incremental gains have taken Hath to the next level. While the wait for a new Slugdge album goes on, All That Was Promised not only fills that void, but establishes Hath as a band worthy of similar recognition.
|Written on 10.03.2022 by Hey chief let's talk why not
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