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Hatesphere - Reduced to Flesh

Reduced to Flesh
by Logan Newbanks at 01 October 2018, 8:10 PM

HATESPHERE is a band that holds a special place in my heart. I got into them as I started to discover what is considered true melodic death metal. I had already been a big IN FLAMES fan in the late 90’s early 00’s. Yes, I just dated myself, but there is a big difference between the old and new style of melodic death at that time. You have the later generation that was a big influence on american metalcore with soaring clean vocals and what some would consider true melodic death. AT THE GATES influenced melodic death is more akin to Swedish death metal with buzzsaw tones and 2-step beats and a splash of thrash metal. I love both of these variants, but for different reasons.

HATESPHERE, in my opinion, have always had a knack for writing great riffs, while staying loyal to the old formula. They do have a nice variation between albums which keeps me listening though. I really feel since “The Great Bludgeoning”, they’ve hit their stride and there is more thrash in the mix. I think that really works for them. The album opened “Praeludium”  starts off ominous before launching into “Corpse of Mankind” which is their signature riff salad with nice thrash/death blast beats that takes a nice breath in the chorus to break up the monotony. “Nothing is Definite” launches into a slower stomp rhythm, which is exactly what this album needs to break up the monotony. Few bands can get away with balls-to-the-wall from beginning to the end of an album. Even if its just 2-3 songs to change the pace it makes the faster songs hit even harder when you do this in metal. Despite the change of pace, as always, this band just fills a song with one good riff after another.

The moral of the story here is that sometimes you can stick to tried and true formulas for music and achieve the mood you’re trying to portray. I’m a diehard anti-traditionalist and anti-purist. However albums like this are a reminder that at the end of the day of what metal is about: pulse pounding rhythms and menacing riffs. In a few words, cathartic angry fucking music for blowing off some steam. “Reduced to Flesh”  is a reminder of why THE CROWN’S “Possessed 13”  got me into the Swedish death metal style. Simple, and not a wasted moment for filler. Riff after riff to thrash or skate to. Pound for pound it is effective and vicious. It comes in and gets the job done and goes home. Overall: Fans of the style will find everything they want and nothing they won’t. The band is doing what it does best and I’m happy to see them continue. A front to back Head-banger. Well done dudes.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Praeludium
2. Corpse of Mankind
3. Nothing Is Definite
4. Ruled by Domination
5. Reduced to Flesh
6. Can of Worms
7. Lethal Mistakes
8. Petty
9. Afterlife
10. Despicable You
11. Kapitalismen
Esse Hansen - Vocals
Kasper Kirkegaard - Guitar
Mike Nielsen - Drums
Jimmy Nedergaard - Bass
Pepe Hansen - Guitar
Record Label: Scarlet Records


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Edited 01 October 2022

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