Hemoptysis – Misanthropic Slaughter

Earlier in the year US metalers Hemoptysis released what is not only the best thrash album this year but maybe arguably of the decade in Misanthropic Slaughter. Because of its distinct and essential quality a late review of it was warranted. To call it thrash though is a very limiting tag in regard to this album, as the band from Phoenix, Arizona simply take thrash as a base and infuse it with essences of heavy metal, death and black metal to create an intelligent, vibrant and thoroughly inspiring sound. One does not have to be a follower of thrash metal to be touched by the sounds created as there is so much more to the music of Hemoptysis to ensure that everyone is more than satisfyingly catered for. This is a metal album, and does not truly sit neatly in any box and that makes it so refreshing.

From the first beckoning seconds of the opening title track the album grabs an eager attention.  Throbbing rampaging variant riffs, incessant clutching rhythms and the grisly growls of vocalist/guitarist Masaki Murashita all play firmly and eagerly. Within the first minute one knows this is not going to be a one dimensional thrash album that satisfies but leaves the palate without anything new to savour. Well written, intelligent and with appetising variations in sound and directions within the song it ripples with and oozes quality. This is an indication of things to come for the album and thoroughly rewarding it is too.  

The basslines on the opener from Sunao Arai pulse with energy but on the second track ‘Hopeless’ he lets loose with an even deep resonance that is hypnotic and seductive. Like a deep vein his riffs fuel the track as the guitars of Murashita and lead guitarist Ryan Miller dance on the ear with certain skill and creativity. As everywhere on the album, the track surprises and delights with excursions into new diversions within the tracks forceful flow, drummer Travis Thune leading the way with his controlled energy and craft.

There are no standout tracks on Misanthropic Slaughter because every song is at an equal high level of expertise, thoughtful and intelligent songwriting and ultimately the realisation. There are moments that give a little more blood pumping pleasure than others like the Metallica spiced opening to ‘Impending Doom’, the delicious solos that cruise excitedly in ‘M.O.D.’, and the perpetual riff attack and drum intensity of ‘The Cycle’, but overall the tracks all start and end on an even level of the loftiest plateau. One never gets bored or loses focus with the diverse and continual changes and the engaging imagination within every song.

The album is definitely not the most brutal onslaught to see the light this year but its power comes from the inventiveness and if it had become simply a continual burst of aggression the adept quality and originality of the song writing would have been seriously diminished.   The band’s previous EP Who Needs A Sheppard? found much critical acclaim and it is no surprise that Misanthropic Slaughter has received the same response and then some. Hemoptysis has created a masterpiece which deserves all the accolades it receives.

Produced by Grammy Award winning producer Ryan Greene (Megadeth, Authority Zero, NOFX)it is clear he and the band were on the same wavelength regarding their sound and the result is a crisp and clean sound that is natural and not over polished. The music breathes and flows with an organic feel; in every aspect the album is a joy. Misanthropic Slaughter should be on the playlist of every true metal fan and in time surely Hemoptysis will be on most of their lips.

RingMaster 19/09/2011

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