Hatesphere – New Hell (Massacre)Thursday, 3rd December 2015
Thrash has usually worked itself backward, while a band like Hatesphere has tried to push it forward. If that makes a shred of sense, then you’re certainly aware of the Danes’ remarkable consistency over the last 15 years, of which has produced some of Euro thrash’s (or “trash” as they like to call it) best albums, most notably 2002’s Bloodred Hatred, and in a sleeper pick, 2009’s To the Nines. Hatesphere has yet to stray from the course, but they’ve repeatedly gotten better in doing so, something that’s reflected in New Hell, their latest time-defying offering.
The formula is the still the same as it’s always been: Off-to-the-races borderline death/thrash, combined with insatiable grooves and biting vocals. Whereas their closet peer Dew-Scented sometimes hits too much upon similar ideas and motifs, Hatesphere rarely has a problem moving from one to the next, with opener “The Executioner” setting the tone with Slayer-to-the-hilt riffing and the expected amounts of vitriol. In turn, the upward, highly mobile bent of songs like “Lines Crossed Lives Lost” and “Your Sad Existence” maintain their punctuality and force throughout, finding the tempo meter to be destroyed, while forcing the pace.
As per the usual with the Danes, the inserted moments of variety work best, whether it’s the groove-laden “Head on a Spike,” instrumental “On the Shores of Hell,” and melodic strands of “The Grey Mass,” where upon perhaps the most underrated side of the band appears. But in totality, New Hell is certainly the best Hatesphere since the above-mentioned To the Nines, the Danes proving their mettle once again. And it broaches the notion: If a formula works as well as this, why bother changing it? And Hatesphere, as always, find a way to deliver.