Review: HateSphere “Ballet of the Brute” [Scarlet Records]

Review: HateSphere “Ballet of the Brute” [Scarlet Records]

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Score 68%
Generic yet mighty 2000's melo-death-thrash
68 %
User Rating : 0 (0 votes)

Hatesphere are one of these Nordic bands that contributed to what could be considered the second wave of Euro melodic death metal after the first wave from the 90’s. Lots of bands played this brand of thrashy melodic metal with a bit of a death metal edge to it around that early 2000’s period, which probably heralded the subsequent deathcore movement from yet a few years after that. In this case, there’s also a definite hardcore element to the music with its brutish, confrontational style. This is the start of metal bands opting for tightness to their sound compared to the equivalent looser-sounding bands of the 90’s – punchy drums, dynamic vocals, with more detailed and wide sounding guitar tones.

This isn’t a style that usually produced bands with any notable originality, and after the sensation of the first few bands coming out with that fresh new sound it was mostly a copycat genre. However, some bands distinguished themselves in the midst of this same-sounding sea of new melo-death-thrash by writing particularly compelling music within that style, and it was the case for Hatesphere on ‘Ballet of the Brute’. The music is generic, and considering the album title it isn’t the subtlest release of the century, but it’s simply super effective. The grooves are particularly contagious, the riffing actually tight, and although the lyrics are dumb as shit and there’s very little depth at all in this area of the metal spectrum, the music just makes the listener feel mighty.

All the tracks are focused and well-written, and one can tell the effort was put in the music and not just the production or merely the general demeanor as a front. As cheesy as the title is, ‘Only the Strongest…’ is a particularly potent song, and it’s difficult to not just indulge in the sheer heaviness at play. The sort of energy they inject into the grooves is just contagious and grabs a hold on the listener, however one-dimensional and silly the style they play generally might be. They took the rugged heavy gallops and power chord oomph of hardcore, as well as its live raw whole-band recording feel, and mixed it with the riffing detail and lead expertise of melo-death metal. It’s genuinely solid stuff, and there’s enough quality in it that it’ll have the listener excited about getting back to it years later, immediately recognizing the riffs. It’s also just the right length: 36min. It makes its point and doesn’t feel like it’s a song or two too long. Short and sweet. It’s no metal classic, but not every album needs to be for it to be enjoyable.

Release date: June 7th, 2004

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