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A Canorous Quintet – Only Pure Hate MMXVIII Award winner

A Canorous Quintet
Only Pure Hate MMXVIII
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 07 January 2019, 6:31 AM

A CANOROUS QUINTET is a Swedish Melodic Death Metal band that formed way back in 1991 as A CANOROUS QUARTET but changed to the former in 1993.  They have released a demo, two eps, and two full lengths; they split up in the late 90’s.  However, they reformed in 2006 as THIS ENDING, releasing another EP and three more full lengths, and still active.  The band, in honor of the 20th anniversary of “The Only Pure Hate” album have reformed under their old name and re recorded it, having never really been satisfied with the original.  Personally, I never thought the original sounded as bad as the band did but, honestly, this version does sound a thousand times better.  Obviously today’s production technology is better but the other reason is the band is better.  By now they have decades of experience and it really shines through on this re envisioned classic.

Vocalist Marten, guitarist Linus, and drummer Frederik all played on the original and it obvious from the start of the first track they have all improved with age.  No offense to the original album’s bassist and second guitarist but Peter and Linis Pettersson both add in a new improvements to the album’s sound. “Only Pure Hate MMXVIII” is an album that is rooted in the Gothenburg, Sweden sound from the late 80’s, early 90’s but I think it stands out from a lot of the other albums from that scene.  This album definitely has a harder edge, especially in the searing vocal attack of Marten.  The guitars, while obviously melodic, have a bit more bite to them and the overall sound is more somber than other classics like “The Jester Race,” “The Gallery,” and “Slaughter of the Soul.”

The opening track, “Self Deceiver (The Purest of Hate),” is quite the punch to the gut, thanks in no small part to the drums and bass.  The album has a really big sound and every instrument can be heard equally.   The riffs during the chorus really nail down the overall atmosphere of the album, creating a mood that is both melodic and melancholic. “The Void,” is one of the best tracks, due to the its sense of urgency and the rumbling rhythm combo of the bass/drums.  Marten's growls and screams are energetic, attacking brazenly.   The instrumental portion between 2:00 and 3:311 is serene in its textured layers of beauty and darkness, surely one of the most underrated moments in Melo Death history.

The centerpiece of the album has to be the “Crystal” songs, made up of three different parts: “Realm of Rain”, “The Storm,” and “Land of the Lost.”  Each song builds from the other one, creating a long epic that also keeps distinction among its three parts.  “Ream of Rain,” is just a classic Melodic Death song that contains everything that makes the genre among my favorites.  “The Storm,” as the title would suggest, is a shorter, more harrowing track that really doubles down on the Death Metal part of their sound.  Lastly, “Land of the Lost,” contains some acoustic and clean guitars sprinkled throughout that lends the song a neoclassical feel and is a great way to dynamically end the trilogy.

A CANOROUS QUINTET never seemed to have the impact that DARK TRANQUILLITY, AT THE GATES, or IN FLAMES had on the Melo Death scene, but this album is just as important to the genre.  It was a very smart idea for the band to re-record this one for a new generation of fans and no doubt it will satisfy the older ones.  In my humble opinion, this album has always been a classic and this version just makes it more so.  If you are a fan of Melodic Death Metal, you NEED this in your collection.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Self Deceiver (The Purest of Hate)
2. Embryo of Lies
3. Red
4. The Void
5. Everbleed
6. The Complete Emptiness
7. Retaliation
8. Realm of Rain (Crystal Part 1)
9. The Storm (Crystal Part 2)
10. Land of the Lost (Crystal part 3)
11. The Plague That Haunts me
Linus Pettersson – Bass
Linus Nirbrant – Guitars
Fredrik Andersson – Drums
Marten Hansen – Vocals
Peter Nxz Nagy – Guitars
Record Label: Black Lodge Records


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