Hate Division – Order of the Enslaved (Blast Head Records)

Thursday, 19th June 2014
Rating: 8/10

First eyeballing the excellent Sarafin Concepts artwork (also responsible for label mates Eternium and The Kennedy Veil’s latest covers, among others), it seemed reasonable that Hate Division’s latest output, Order of the Enslaved, would fit nicely in that upper echelon of death metal releases.  But let’s face it; it is the music that matters after all right?  Well, Hate Division have brought their A-game to this one, and should be received with open arms by the death metal community, particularly fans of Misery Index or Origin.

These Canadian boys do mean business with their particular brand of death metal.  Being able to bring together elements of groove and memorable riffs, technicality, and even bits of grindcore keeps the music from falling flat at any particular moment in the album.  Most songs hit hard and quick, lasting between 3 and 4 minutes long, heaving as much violence as they can muster, but never forgetting that going headlong into brutality can lead into boredom.  So their repertoire consists of some standout, but not too flashy soloing (“Dawn of Quiescence”) and some subtle melodies and groove.  Don’t be alarmed though, there’s nothing that approaches melodic death metal territory, but memorable in the same sense that the lastest Misery Index conveys, with a knack for technically interesting material that still retains memorability.  Also contributing to this factor are the vocals, which bounce from mid-range to low roars and some higher register stuff.  The varied dynamics at play do capture the listener more than the average death metal album.

With this only being Hate Division’s second full length, Order of the Enslaved seems ready to open some doors for the band.  Well-written and executed death metal that blends a number of the best aspects of the genre, it’s hard not to root for this one, even if it doesn’t cover much new ground.

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