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Mortal Hatred – Odyssey Award winner

Mortal Hatred
Odyssey
by Thomas Kumke at 27 March 2022, 4:09 PM

MORTAL HATRED hailing from Kreuztal, Germany, were formed in 2006. They are a Death Metal band with Deathcore influences and after releasing two EPs, a split, and their debut full-length album in 2014, “Odyssey” is their album number two. The album has a length of almost one hour and three minutes. It was released via German label Kernkraftritter Records (English: “Nuclear Power Knight Records”) which has Metal bands across all genres among their roster.

MOTRTAL HATRED are not a band that is overly active in terms of releases. In fact, “Odyssey” is only the second-long player in the 15 years of band history and the first after eight years of wait. There might be various reasons for that, a large number of changes in the band setup are not among those, since the line-up of MOTRTAL HATRED remained stable over all those years. Whatever the reasons may be, MOTRTAL HATRED makes up for this with the release of a double CD, which has become a rarity these days.

The album starts off with a symphonic intro, which nicely sets the atmosphere for the things to come. The subsequent track “Mortal Hatred” is very strong and shows the direction of the sound on the album: powerful guitar riffing, a melody ensemble of darkness and melancholy, growling vocals that are very versatile and vary from the low to the medium end of the guttural range with occasional higher notes, and relentless drumming with lots of double bass. “Mortal Hatred” is an excellent melodic Death Metal song and it was released as official video with the YouTube link given below. “Generation Omega” continues with the Melodic Death attack and with an increased use of blast-beats. While “Mortal Hatred” was a mid-tempo song, “Generation Omega” includes highly paced parts with a lot of AT THE GATES vibes. The cool thing about “Generation Omega” is the very smart change in rhythm without any distraction from the overall sound and by maintaining a grim atmosphere.

Altenberg” and “Die Nixe Vom Muehlenweiher” are among the songs with German lyrics and they both deal with German mythologies. “Altenberg” is an ancient silver mining site in the German Ruhr area, which has been used during the medieval period. The song is very heavy at mid-tempo with very powerful riffing, epic melodies during the chorus sections, a few down-tempo parts, and again the vocals are very versatile. “Die Nixe Vom Muehlenweiher” is about the mermaid from the mill’s pond and it is melodic Death Metal at its very best: melancholic melodies, brutal growling, tight guitar riffing, contributing lead guitars, and blast-beat attacks.

A Best Friend’s Funeral” sounds very different compared to “Altenberg” and “Die Nixe Vom Muehlenweiher”. It is a straightforward and fast song with direct riffing apart from the down-tempo parts halfway through the track. Those parts restore the melancholic atmosphere, a recurrent feature of the album. The track also includes a very contributing lead guitar solo and it transitions into “Pompeji”, which is musically and also lyrically in line with the German mythology songs while it deals here with the ancient Italian history. “Pompeji” is bombastic at a measured tempo, and it uses a few orchestral elements. “Der Letzte Tag” is another track with German lyrics (“The Last Day”), driven forward by the double-bass drumming, the aggressive guitar riffing, and the growls which include a few higher screams. I always was of the opinion that German lyrics in Metal do not sound well, I might want to revisit this one.

Crossroads” is the first song which in my opinion does not stand out from the rest. It is still a very good song in terms of melodies and atmosphere, however, probably not an album highlight. “Swim” is another mid-tempo head-banger with an almost catchy guitar riffing during the verse sections and another double-bass assault. The chorus section has epic, sing-along melodies. The track includes occasional backing vocal support which do not fit well in, they rather disrupt the atmosphere of the song. “Raindancer” concludes the first CD and it is probably the fastest track on the album and driven by the hammering drumming and the fine guitar work. Although the majority of the track is fast and direct, MOTRTAL HATRED nicely switch rhythms, but maintain the epic atmosphere and the song has a great instrumental finish. It would have been the perfect ending of the album, if there was not the second CD…

The second CD is a triptych of songs about cinematic creatures: Godzilla, T-Rex, and Xenomorph. All tracks are a brutal and fast hammering with less Melodic Death, but more Deathcore elements. “Traditional Godzilla Violence” is in principle a blast-beat thunderstorm at insane pace with flesh-ripping guitar riffing and crunching bass lines. “Ultimate T-Rex Violence” is not as brutal as “Traditional Godzilla Violence”, but more playful and more complex structured. “X-Treme Xenomorph Violence” sounds again more brutal and is more direct. All three songs have a very different sound and atmosphere compared to the first CD, so I would see them rather as bonus material.

MOTRTAL HATRED deliver a beast of an album. For me, it is an excellent melodic Death Metal album which has occasionally some Deathcore elements. The strength of “Odyssey” are the perfect symbiosis of aggression and melancholy, the melodic framework, and how the individual instruments including the vocals contribute to it. The vocals are among the very best I heard in Death Metal for a long time and the drumming is outstanding. The sound is very diverse which indicates a mature songwriting. The album is very well produced. MOTRTAL HATRED set the bar very high and “Odyssey” is a must have album for every Death Metal fan.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  10
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Time Was Passing By
2. Mortal Hatred
3. Generation Omega
4. Altenberg
5. Die Nixe Vom Muehlenweiher
6. A Best Friend’s Funeral
7. Pompeji
8. Der Letzte Tag
9. Crossroads
10. Swim
11. Raindancer
12. Traditional Godzilla Violence
13. Ultimate T-Rex Violence
14. X-Treme Xenomorph Violence
Lineup:
Frederik Wallerus – Vocals
Matthias Markwart – Guitars
Christian Setzer ­ Guitars
Kai Stähler – Drums
Felix Pieroth – Bass
Record Label: Kernkraftritter Records
     


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