Hour of Penance – Regicide (Prosthetic)

Thursday, 3rd April 2014
Rating: 8.5/10

The Italian death metal scene is one that has rapidly become known for it’s furious nature and technically challenging dynamics.  Look no further than bands like Hideous Divinity, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Ade, Septycal Gorge, and of course, Hour of Penance to wave the Italian flag high.  Their sixth full-length album and follow-up to the crushing Sedition, there were lofty expectations for Regicide to fulfill, and genre-fanatics will find that Hour of Penance have once again delivered the goods.

Being an album from Hour of Penance, there are a few things that you can count on without fail.  Ridiculous bursts of speed, downright heavy riffs, and the subtlety of a wrecking ball.   Sure, you’ve heard it all before but there’s something to be said for the level of execution that Hour of Penance brings forth with each effort.  While many bands try to hit you with the best they’ve got, Hour of Penance usually barrels you over and leaves you flailing around, kicking and screaming, by the end of the album.

With the whole wrecking ball angle, it’s not to say that there are no melodic underpinnings to be had.  On the contrary, despite the overwhelming bludgeon one will receive whilst listening to Regicide, it’s their ability to throw in some solid riffs and melodies that keep it from being a one-trick pony.  Just listen to the subtle melodies injected into “Desecrated Souls” or devastating grooves that lace “Sealed into Ecstasy” if you require proof.  There is an absolutely epic sound to the riffs that make up the title track as well, providing one of the definite highlights of the album.

There is a reason that Hour of Penance has become so world-renown (hint: it’s not for their pasta).  It’s not terribly different than their previous efforts but when you can pull off this level of brutality, why re-invent the wheel?  Anyone in need of that frenetic rush that only technically proficient modern death metal can provide will gobble this one up.

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