Hadal Maw – Senium (Self Released)

Tuesday, 25th November 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

Some bands are quick on the draw to get their name out there, while others take their time and refine their craft before unleashing it on the unsuspecting public. Count Australia’s Hadal Maw as one of the latter category, stewing for the past few years and strengthening their live act before putting their debut full-length out. Seems that time has been on their side, as Senium does a good job of avoiding the pitfalls of many newcomers.

The influences of Hadal Maw are identifiable, but never lets the music become a game of “name that band.” Taking the death metal template more akin to something like latter day Decapitated (read: flexing some Meshuggah and Gojira muscles from time to time) and adding some dissonance, atmosphere, and some technical flair as well. It’s an intriguing formula, and one of the biggest positives is just how heavy it sounds. Listening to this one with a set of headphones will allow you to really hear the rumbling of the guitars. It almost has that bottom heavy Immolation sound to it. But knowing when to lay off and let some atmosphere bleed through, such as on “Corridors,” or some well-placed groove, as in “Altar of Ire” is what will separate Hadal Maw from the pack.

The only thing holding this one back is the lack of distinguishable riffing. It’s buried within the building of the atmosphere, but if they could find a way to allow the two components to be more symbiotic, they could be very much on to something special. Not to downplay what they’ve done here with Senium, as it’s an impressive debut. But Hadal Maw could be on to greatness in their near future with a push in the right direction.

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