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Hiss From The Moat - Misanthropy Award winner

Hiss From The Moat
by Erika Kuenstler at 05 March 2014, 3:11 PM

As if offerings of pizza, lasagne, and FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE were not enough, Italy seems to have graced mankind with another gift: HISS FROM THE MOAT. Founded in 2006, and with an EP entitled “The Carved Flesh Message” to their name, 2013 saw the release of their much-awaited debut album “Misanthropy”. Having opened for acts like THE BLACK DALIA MURDER, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, and WAR FROM A HARLOTS MOUTH, HISS FROM THE MOAT is another one of those bands that have erupted into metal scene, taking the world by storm. And with “Misanthropy”, we’re shown exactly why.

In recent years, there has been an uprising of bands playing music that fits neither within the category of Black Metal nor within Death Metal, but represents an amalgamation of both. Even the label of Blackened Death Metal is not quite apposite. This style of music, pioneered by bands such as CARACH ANGREN, is undeniably driven by the technicality and speed found in Death Metal, yet also contains a malignant and soul-chilling darkness found in the most malevolent Black Metal. And it seems that this type of music has found itself another champion in the form of HISS FROM THE MOAT.

“Intro”: A soothing oriental-sounding melody intertwined with darker and more foreboding undercurrents drifts through the air, lulling the unsuspecting listener into a façade of tranquillity before shattering this uneasy serenity with the bludgeoning onslaught of “Conquering Christianity”, a track featuring guest vocals by none other than Tommaso Ricardi of FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE. This resounding opening to the album sets the standards high for the rest of the album, yet HISS FROM THE MOAT don’t disappoint, and are able to deliver a barrage of one searing, nihilistic, blistering track after another.

This band contains elements that remind me of mid-era BEHEMOTH, or at least what I would imagine BEHEMOTH’s earlier days may have sounded like if you had given the entire band energy drinks and steroids, with a double dose for their drummer. “Honor to the Mother of Death” alone contains enough blast beats to launch a small rocket to space, with a relentless blitzkrieg of machine gun-like thunder that will brutally ravage your ears, with the utter catastrophic tumult unleashed being reminiscent of VADER circa their “The Art of War” album. But then again, what else would you expect from the drummer of HOUR OF PENNANCE?

And speaking of HOUR OF PENANCE, the vocals delivered by Paolo Pieri are superb, at times complimenting the music with  their grim ferocity, and at other times contrasting the instruments perfectly, giving the devastating double-kick drumming a malevolent counterweight. Yet this isn’t all that “Misanthropy” has to offer in terms of guest appearances: “The Descent from the Throne” features Ryan Knight from THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER performing lead-guitar sections which can only be described as face-melting.

Overall, speed and brutality are the golden standards adhered to by this band, and although “contagious” would be a more apt description than “catchy”, tracks such as “Moralism as Anesthetic” and “Caduceus” will undoubtedly infest your ears for days with their epic brooding darkness. Perhaps my only criticism of this album, apart from its almost criminally short duration, is that the progressions from one track to another could have been smoother and less abrupt. Nevertheless, in what I can only describe as an astounding fusion of brutality, technicality, and complete malevolence, HISS FROM THE MOAT seem to have taken the best of bands like BEHMOTH, FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, and CARACH ANGREN, and combined it all into a masterpiece of utter obliteration. “Misanthropy” is the Darth Vader of Metal, and its calling to the dark side.

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Conquering Christianity
3. Honor to the Mother of Death
4. Moralism as Anesthetic
5. Misanthropy
6. The Path of the Pilgrims
7. The Descent from the Throne
8. Ave Regina Caelorum
9. Caduceus
10. Outro
Carlo Cremascoli - Bass
James Payne - Drums
Giacomo "Jack" Poli - Guitars

Tommaso Ricardi – Vocals
Paolo Pieri – Vocals
Ryan Knight – Lead Guitar
Record Label: Lacerated Enemy Records


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