Hateful
Epilogue of Masquerade

Hateful is Italy’s best kept secret in the Italian Death Metal scene. It’s built its reputation the hard way, without any fancy labels or big guys in the band line-up – solely on the basis of its music. This is not to take away something from the other bands, everyone has worked hard and met the success they deserve. A few years back, you’d be hard pressed to consider any Italian band during discussions about Death Metal. Nefas was namedropped, and that’s the band bearing most resemblance to Hateful, what, with its Immolation undertones.

Hateful, on its latest album ‘Epilogue of Masquerade’ plays Technical Death Metal without going into the hyper-mode. It’s keeping it relatively restrained, about the music, focusing on the thorough execution of every section than just overdoing everything. The riffs are fleshed out, and it takes more than a few listens to fully get them – it’s quite intricate and the song structures are bizarre because it’s not in the conventional format. It mixes up things quite a bit and it’s like piles of riffs buried over each other, pummelling pulsating drumming decorates the mess and the vocals are restrained yet again, keeping it straightforward.

This is an album for listeners, although first appearances aren’t unimpressive either. Production-wise everything is clear and strong, robust and the artwork is fairly striking in its elegance. Understated is the word I’d like to denote this band’s intent with – it’s doing something far more than most would give it credit for. Where references are concerned, I’m reminded of mid-period Monstrosity with Jason Avery on vocals mixed with technical-era Death, added with brutality and modern values, and of course the Immolation touches with plenty of drum rolls a la Alex Hernandez.

How often do you come across a technical death metal band that’s meaty and has elements of brutality while remaining rooted in the traditional riffing style? That’s where Hateful makes a mark. It doesn’t need any fancy atmosphere or session members in its line-up, the band members are very competent. The biggest compliment I can give the band is that the qualities are intrinsic, as opposed to a few others who have superficial elements, like a protruding layer over the music or some sheen of some sort pushing its progress. Without namedropping such bands, with all due respect, this band has more lasting value and genuine intent.

The more I listen to it, the more I kick myself for not taking the effort to do so earlier. First appearances are often deceptive, and there’s a lot more to this band than it may seem. ‘Epilogue of Masquerade’ deserves your attention and accolades because it’s doing it in the classiest way possible.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kunal Choksi
January 9th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: gordeth

    Great writeup! I noticed this album early last year but didn’t pay much attention to it. It sounds like I need to remedy that.


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