Hideous Divinity
Unextinct

Hideous Divinity is back with their fifth full-length album, Unextinct.  The band opted to go the longest length of time in their career without ever releasing an album, as Simulacrum was released a year prior to COVID.  The band was patient not to release a COVID album because they knew there would be no touring and just opted to release the LV-426 EP in 2021, which was super smart in order to keep it in the public eye.

I’ve been a big fan of this Italian brutal tech/dm band since their 2012 debut Obeisance Rising.  Since then the band has released great material, toured, and upped their game with musicianship and songwriting.  The Italian death metal scene has quite a variation of the differing styles.  On one hand, we have the pure unadulterated no frills brutality of bands like Putridity and Devangelic, to the once brutal but then turned symphonic death metal stylings of Fleshgod Apocalypse and then to the brutal tech death of Hour of Penance, and that is where Hideous Divinity fall into.  I like the sheer brutality of HOP, but can any of you hum and of their riffs?  Seriously, think of one riff that comes to mind, right now, without scrolling on the net or your phone.  You will not be able to.  Their albums are interchangeable, still a good and talented band nonetheless.

When Hideous Divinity hit the scene they had that Hour of Penance style down, but created tempo shifts galore and the production on their albums was much better.  As time went on the production on HOP albums improved vastly, however, I started becoming more interested in Hideous Divinity and for the majority of their career the line-up has stayed intact with a few rotational players.  Enrico Schettino – Guitars, Enrico “H.” Di Lorenzo – Vocals, Stefano Franceschini – Bass needed a drummer for this album and Davide Itri (Bedsore/Plugs of Apocalypse) stepped in to provide the drums on this album.  Edoardo Di Santo is their new drummer and Unextinct is 10 songs in 51 minutes – a rather long death metal album, just like their last one.  The band throwing two eight-minute-long songs on this.

“Dust Settles on Humanity” starts and is an intro/instrumental which is atmospheric, and builds up heavier and heavier, quite good in fact until going right into “The Numinous One”, which gets into the ferocious blasts right after the nifty drumming, in the beginning.  Enrico enunciates lyrics even clearer than before, but no worries, he gets into brutal gutturals too.  Going from blast beats and mid-paced crushing heaviness, this is Hideous Divinity!  The double bass drums are (TAF – triggered as fuck), but will collapse chest cavities and this type of over-produced drum sound is par for the course for this style of extreme metal.  I do notice some blackened death metal riffing, not unlike Behemoth.  The slow down with the growl at the 3-minute mark is excellent and allows the song to breathe more and then we are treated to a nice guitar solo, that actually comes equipped with some creamy and tasty Gelato.  This is a juggernaut of an opener, in many respects.  I would have scaled the song back a few minutes, since this song is over 7 minutes, however, the tempo shifts break up the song quite a bit.

“Quasi-Sentient” starts with a monolithically heavy and slow moment, which is crushing, and a nice little blast beat is quickly thrown in, it’s so fast and brief and I love that brief tempo shift before the song gets back into the moodier slower pace.  Those snappy brief – 2-second blast beats, then back into the slow section is beyond creative, and then we are treated with some slap bass guitar special moments.  The song gets into the more brutal end of things with monstrous blast beats, but guitar soloing over these moments and the varying tempo shifts is rather excellent.  The drumming is terrific as are the vocals, guitar riffing, and bass guitar.  The rhythm section is incredible on this well-balanced song and at 5 minutes the song hits harder than some of the 6-8 minute numbers.

“Leben ohne Feuer” ends the album at over 8 minutes and a monster ‘effin growl in the beginning of this track, will rip out your gulliver.  The tempo shifts are all over the place with atmospheric moments intertwined between the ultra-brutality and slower moments.  There’s clean screaming and wails on this song too.

Unextinct is a most excellent Hideous Divinity album.  If you enjoy their prior material, you will no doubt enjoy this.  There is more of an emphasis on expansion with these longer songs and I enjoy them quite a lot.  I do feel sometimes a less is more approach can work, more effectively, since 50+ minute long albums with longer songs, well….some of the memorability factors can dissipate throughout the listening experience.  The production is terrific and powerful.  The album cover conjures up ‘The Last Voyage of the Demeter’ movie from last year, involving Dracula, and I get that aspect from following the lyrics, which are well crafted.  The lyrics are like a story, they are very long of course, and can be tough to recall because there are a lot of vocals on this.  Again….a less is more approach, can be more gut-punching in the long run.  At the end of the day, this latest album still hits hard and is crushing.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
April 1st, 2024

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