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Hackneyed - Death Prevails (Reissue)

Death Prevails (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 31 May 2015, 2:25 AM

Back in 2008, the giant label of Nuclear Blast Records, found something abysmal within the debut conception of the local HACKNEYED and their debut album “Death Prevails”. And the direct response was the band’s signing to the label’s massive roster. I guess they were looking for the next stardom in Death Metal. Seven years forward, and HACKNEYED is no longer with Nuclear Blast, already crossed paths with Lifeforce Records and now apparently going on their own way with Silverdust Records, it had me intrigued what Nuclear Blast, back in the day, found in this band that afterwards was signed. Metal Mind Productions reissued the first two albums of HACKNEYED as a fine memory, a token for the band’s past legacy, almost clocking a decade. “Death Prevails” was the band’s trial by fire, like a sort of baby step into a harsher reality of the Metal world.

Essentially, HACKNEYED didn’t pioneer a new approach in Death Metal. Their pact with the means of the flesh and bone, gore and brutality appeared as a reminiscent to great American Death Metal vestiges in the image of CANNIBAL CORPSE, AUTOPSY and SUFFOCATION, especially those band’s earlier days yet I might also add several of their later deliveries. On the other hand, as pictured on “Death Prevails”, you might scratch out the technical musicianship off as HACKNEYED composed their material to be slighter lighter in magnitude in comparison to the relics mentioned. No less brutal and straightforward in their art form, but certainly there credited music didn’t exactly present a fistful of evolution. In a way, the material in question somewhat felt raw, unsure, still looking for the next positive turn to stick to, like shot in the dark. Lack of immaturity came evident, yet it didn’t chomp them all over. HACKNEYED retained the brutish riffery, crossing with a cranks of melodies, which could have taken their toll if were much stronger throughout the release, and a stone cold rhythm section that skinned alive each tune. Furthermore, and it came a wonder no less, I believe that I was bystander to synth harmonies that surged through some of the tracks. That kind of ambiance, though unexpected, actually had a good effect on the songs and even enhanced them.

Songs like “Worlds Collide”, “Ravenous” and “Symphony Of Death” made the difference for this album while implying of a bright future that might take its course further down the road on the sophomore album. HACKNEYED gave the impression with those three tracks that they are gifted but still need that polish in their songwriting to make them confident. Eventually, they will reveal themselves as an intense group, mainly judging by my assessment of their 2011’s third album “Carnival Cadavre”, yet it would be interesting to see if their second Nuclear Blast Records album, “Burn After Reaping”, had an effect on the next stage in their development.

3 Star Rating

1. Unseen Enemy
2. Gut Candy
3. Ravenous
4. Axe Splatter
5. Neon Sun
6. Worlds Collide
7. Symphony of Death
8. Bone Grinder
9. Again
Tim Cox – Drums
Devin Cox - Guitars
Phillip Mazal - Vocals
Alex Büttner - Bass
Felix Papp - Guitars
Record Label: Metal Mind Productions


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Edited 03 February 2023

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