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Hath - Of Rot and Ruin Award winner

Of Rot and Ruin
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 11 March 2019, 5:19 AM

HATH is a Blackened Death Metal band from New Jersey.  “Of Rot And Ruin,” is their first full length album after releasing the EP “Hive” in 2015. As far as debuts go, this one is pretty impressive because the band is surprisingly diverse for how brutal they are.  “Of Rot and Ruin,” is consistently intense, especially the drums from AJ  Viana, who is an unrelenting beast of a man.  Throughout each song, he displays an insane sense of speed, energy, and endurance; the songs definitely wouldn’t be the same without him behind the kit.

The other guys display skills far beyond the band’s years active, a knack for incorporating great showmanship into a such a focused blast of Death Metal rage.  Peter and Frank play riffs that are extreme as hell but also very memorable with depth to back it all up. “Usurpation,” begins with a bell tone quickly followed by rapid fire Black Metal infused riffs that increase in their intensity as the seconds pass, going from that classic “writhing” BM sound to a more galloping style pummel.  All the different changes that take place in each song never come off as messy or overdone. The last couple minutes of the song presents some slight melodic and prog elements, especially in the amazing guitar solo.  Even when the band incorporates these other styles, the drumming and Greg’s bass keep things firmly planted into brutal territory.  The last part of the song has vocals that are caught between Death growls and rough cleans; it works very well for them and doesn’t lessen the intensity.

Rituals,” has a sort of “tribal” feel to it with the clean passages highlighting the bass between moments of electric fury. The middle part of the song is one-part seething rage and another gloomy melody mixed with those goddamn impossible drums.  Afterwards the song goes into a more groove oriented movement with some extremely brutal low Death growls. I found “Worlds Within,” to be one of the best tracks on the album; it shows how a band, especially one in the Extreme Metal world, can throw in unconventional elements and still burn everything to the ground.  The track has an acoustic intro accompanied by bass that really forms the backbone of the song.  Even when the guitars turn on the distortion, the bass never steps to the side.  The song devastates for a couple minutes then acoustics return with some very melodic bass.  This whole passage is refreshing and thought provoking; this band isn’t afraid to take risks and they pull these risks with deft skills.  Anyone who doesn’t think Death Metal can’t evoke emotions needs to hear this song’s guitar leads.

The last track, “Progeny,” is a doozy and probably the most intense on the album.  Right from the beginning, this one cause for the immediately destruction of everything, so focused is the band on laying waste to life itself with their sonic destiny.  To combine the violence with Death Metal and the misanthropic values of Black Metal is always a good thing but HATH really have it down to a science. Just when the song couldn’t possibly get any better, the middle portion is a gateway to a land where technical skills and progressive playing rules the land.

I didn’t know what to expect when I pressed play on this promo but I was treated to a nonstop ride of Blackened Death Metal bliss, one that knows exactly what sound it needs and how to best achieve it.

Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Usurpation
2. Currents
3. Rituals
4. To Atone
5. Withered
6. Worlds Within
7. Kindling
8. Accursed
9. Progeny
Peter Brown – Guitars
AJ Viana – Drums
Frank Albanese – Guitars, Vocals
Greg Nottis – Bass, Vocals
Record Label: Willowtip Records


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