Hideous Divinity – Cobra Verde (Unique Leader)

Sunday, 19th October 2014
Rating: 9/10

Having only completed only one full-length (2012’s Obeisance Rising), there’s a reason why Hideous Divinity are frequently cited when the Italian death metal scene is mentioned: Obeisance Rising was that good. Two years later, its follow-up Cobra Verde is set to be released and it is clear that Hideous Divinity has lost none of what made them so special last time around.

Cobra Verde is inspired by the Werner Herzog movie of the same title, and the focus on conceptualization provides Hideous Divinity with a bit more song structure and backbone than your average tech death specialists. In addition to the pre-requisite Italian technicality (much akin to their peers Hour of Penance, Ade, or Bloodtruth), there is a more moody and darker atmosphere that permeates the tracks and makes them into something much more special. Opening “In My Land I Was a Snake” begins with a quick build-up to a massively heavy riff and weaves through monstrous twists and turns before the last minute and a half relents ever so slightly to allow for some more melodic touches. The dark acoustics of the title track take their time to build up the song before departing into a flurry of explosive riffing. “Adjinakou” is full of melodic tones and hulking riffs that bring the Cobra Verde inspired tracks to a close in excellent form (before the wicked cover of Ripping Corpse’s “The Last and Only Son” brings things to an end). As you can see, the album is full of great, memorable moments that you’ll want to revisit often. Another thing that stands out is the fantastic production job, delivering a massive scale to the riffs and an excellent clarity that does not take the bite out of the material.

Fans of Nile or any of the bands mentioned above should really have Hideous Divinity on their radar. Their focus on balancing the technical death metal brutality with fleshed out songwriting gives them a decided edge among their peers. Successfully avoiding the stereotype of mindless technicality, these are nine tracks that you won’t soon forget. Cobra Verde is a fine example of what can be done with death metal in 2014.

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