Hour of Penance

Along with the likes of Origin, Spawn of Possession, and Beneath the Massacre, Hour of Penance has been one band that has been at the forefront of the technical brutal death metal genre.  Their style, along with the others mentioned, comes at you from all sides like an infantry battalion, with riffs flying all around like mortar shells; it’s a style that when played well can be jaw dropping in its technicality and intensity.  This Italian quartet has been honing their skill for around fourteen years, with Regicide being their sixth full length album to add to their back catalog of destruction.

Following the opener, “Reforging the Crowns” begins the assault, and fans familiar with Sedition and Paradogma, their 2 most recent works, will feel right at home with the barrage of riffs that this band can throw at you at Mach 3 speed.  It’s a churning, blasting cacophony of metal that is this band’s bread and butter.  The next tracks few tracks blend together in this similar style, with “Resurgence of the Empire” allowing a slight chance for the listener to catch their breath while flexing more of their technical muscles.

But it’s the latter half of the album, starting with tracks 7 & 8 (“Redeemer or Atrocity” and title track “Regicide”), where this album really shows its strength with stronger songwriting and a much catchier composition.  These are the best tracks on the album, with the perfect combination of pacing, brutality and groove.  “The Seas of Light” continues this recipe before so-so closer “Theogony” wraps things up.

All in all this is vintage Hour of Penance – it’s designed you leave you breathless (and deaf) and make no apologies at all for it.  The musicianship is top notch, though sometimes trying to play at light speed can cause things to blend together too much, as was the case with the first half of the album.  Once that’s out of the way, the second half of the album as a whole is much more enjoyable.  It will be interesting to see where they take their abilities from here, as many metal fans find overly technical music to lack soul or much substance.  I don’t feel that’s the case here, but the band does skirt that very fine line.  Still a killer album and one definitely worth a few spins.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
July 8th, 2014


  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    ooh I didn’t know there was a new one. spinning this now!

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