Hath
All That Was Promised 

Pros of the band Hath: Pretty much everything.

Cons: They make me think of Hoth, which makes me think of Star Wars… and unlike many of my peers, I do not care for Star Wars. There. I said it.

With all of that out of the way, here’s Hath’s heavily anticipated All That Was Promised. If you’re not familiar with the band (shame on you if not), I call them “Death-stadon.” In other words, death metal Mastodon. They have that same sort of sense of melody that bands such as Mastodon, Baroness, and Kylesa employ/employed in the late 2000s. Except they, you know, add death metal. You’re all caught up now. High five!

Despite the fact that the intro to the opening track “The Million Violations,” is short-lived, All That Was Promised, feels like it takes a while to get going. While there’s nothing wrong with the opening track, “Kenosis,” seems more fully realized. It’s clear why this track was released earlier in the promotional stages. It’s a straight up bruiser for most of the runtime. The chorus has a tease of clean vocals you can just hear coming, but they don’t materialize on the first refrain. They do on the second, however. More specifically, post-chorus. So, it takes about 8 minutes into the album for it to take off. Luckily, they don’t waste the momentum as the solo following those vocals is stellar. They tease the clean vocals coming back near the end, but that doesn’t happen, either. Interesting choice, gentlemen.

The next track, “Lithopaedic,” which has also been accessible prior to the album’s release, is another bruiser. At a little less than 3 minutes in, they tease that they’re going to let off the gas for just a moment, but nah, son. They’re just going to keep pounding that ass. I probably could have chosen better wording there… Regardless, the last section of the track lends itself more to the melodic black metal spectrum with its dissonance and symbol crashing, breaking up the pure death metal so far.

Not too much further on in the album is track 5, “Decollation.” This track rarely lets up on the speed, despite the strong chorus, which is one of the best on the album. The previously mentioned Mastodon comparisons creep in regarding the picking, specifically their earlier work. There’s a bridge around 4 minutes in with some eerie background synths, which lighten the track overall, but it picks up again before the end.

After that and for the sake of brevity, let’s talk about the closer, “Name Them Yet Build No Monuments.” Just before finishing this review, the band (or more likely the label) decided to release this bruiser for public consumption. That riff, which is a borderline breakdown a little over two minutes in seems all too brief, then it comes back, pulls up a chair, stays a while, and asks “whatcha thinkin’ about?” Of course, clean guitar ambience appropriately ends the album.

So, is this really All That Was Promised? Indeed. Perhaps it could have been better being a little shorter, but that’s nitpicky. It’s diverse enough to justify the runtime, despite sometimes thinking it needs to be a little more dynamic. However, that’s it for missteps. On the other hand, Hath have done something very difficult in this age of having heard everything before by establishing their own sound. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had this promo for a while before finishing the review and I can’t imagine it any other way because this album takes a while to grow, or at least it did for me. I fully expect this to be a part of several year-end lists and you’d do well for yourself by checking it out, but take your time and absorb it. It’s worth it!

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
March 9th, 2022

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