We might be coming late to the party but with Norwegian metallers The Hate Colony working on their new full-length a look at their debut album is definitely in order as we wait for what is already a highly anticipated follow-up. Originally released two years ago, Dead Or Victorious is an invigorating tempest of passion and aggressive intent which ticks all the right boxes for intensively sculpted and carnivorously delivered metal. Skilled and expertly unleashed, the album is a raw unbridled brawl with the senses, a promise soaked confrontation providing a sizeable and potent basis for the band’s sophomore full-length to evolve from. Time will tell if the band do grow or remain within the extended arms provided by Dead Or Victorious, but if the latter you still feel it will still be a richly satisfying slab of accomplished brutality as their debut.
The Trondheim hailing quintet it is fair to say upon Dead Or Victorious, are not setting down new markers or breaking boundaries but certainly at times worrying them with a fine vein of imagination within the excellently crafted songwriting and performance. It means there are no major surprises in store but equally the album never offers a song or moment when attention is allowed to wander or hanker for other things. From the opening notes and rhythmic punches of Cornered a greedy appetite is awoken as riffs and rhythms rigorously sniff around the senses, pressuring and barracking them into submission. The track is a ravenous storm of provocative and contagious intent, squalling varied vocal attacks as magnetic as the twisting sounds and ideas raging within the body of the song. As mentioned it is hard to say that there is something dramatically new going on but with enticing melodic craft and teasing veining the onslaught, it is one wholly captivating start.
Your Murder Scene takes no prisoners either, bass and drums preying on the ears as the guitars stroke an elevated hunger for their exploratory touch and almost arrogant predation. It is a track which makes an immediate strongly appealing impression but also smoulders beneath its fury to ignite an even greater passion over time. Its elegant acoustic finale is a mouth-watering bridge into Diggin’ Deeper, a song which continues the evocative gentle persuasion for a fair amount of magnetic time before uncaging thunderous beats and a primal torrent of heavily clad riffs alongside the ever caustic and varied vocal voraciousness. The song gnaws at the senses across the whole of its rapacious presence, its antagonistic jaws a persistent provocateur ensuring an addictive slavery is forged upon the listener right up to its final squalling seamless passing over into Lies, another track which towers over the ears with spite in its rhythmic heart and venomous rabidity in its creative eyes. The song and album to this point certainly gives neck muscles an intensive workout which only continues as the release charges on through each exhausting track.
The more classic metal seeded Wall of Sanctuary with its almost niggling sonic enterprise steps forward next, vocals stretching themselves yet again for diversity and passion and though the song does not quite live up to its predecessors it leaves no one short on thought and inventively delivered adventure. The same can be said about Cottonmouth, a track which prowls and stalks the senses whilst seeding sinew built shadows in the imagination. As its predecessor the song is a formidable concentration of intensity and intimidation through striking craft but surprisingly lacks the killer touch to inflame the emotions as earlier tracks. There is not something truly memorable to come back and haunt the memory away from its presence, something which you can lay against maybe too much of the album, though it is the only issue.
Both the acidically poisonous No Sympathy and the corrosively enterprising and enthrallingly ravaging Remember Me keep the infectious toxicity of the album boiling, the second of the pair an ever shifting blaze of intrigue soaked adventure which is as unpredictable and gripping as it is virulently ferocious. It is left to the title track to close up the savagery which it does with arguably the albums most vicious and intensive point, though there are plenty of contender moments throughout the album.
Without setting flaming tyre marks on the surface of brutal metal, Dead or Victorious is a powerful entrance for The Hate Colony, one which offers the seeds for unique and limits spearing invention which you suspect and definitely hope the band’s second album will bloom. If the likes of Sylosis, Heart Of A Coward, and Battlecross feed your needs than The Hate Colony has a full menu to feast upon
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