Indianapolis plaguebringers Hatesong don’t offer allegiance to any solitary subgenre. Across their two EPs, they most consistently embody the raw, rasping menace of black metal’s primordial age. But their songs also drip with gutter sludge and crust punk venom. Toss in some Luciferian thrash, and you get even closer to Hatesong’s uncompromising fury. After several years of sharpening their stage performances, they have emerged from a world of pestilence with their debut LP. Chapel Rats will be available on June 4th from Metal Assault Records. But Decibel Magazine broke into the cathedral a little early to share this ripper with you.
The album opens with chapel-haunting atmospherics before “Through the Wastelands” arrives with a roar of distortion. The “Ill Forgotten” is so catchy that the closing death groove completely blindsides the listener. “Black Sorceress” emerges from crimson fog as the album’s first sigh of morose melody. It’s a standout track that sidelines the gnashing nihilism for six evocative minutes. Chapel Rats then closes with three straight mid-paced spirit-crushers. “We Bring You War” closes Hatesong’s chaos crusade, inviting some greasy rock ‘n’ roll flourishes to the guitar licks.
To Hatesong, black metal does not mean constant blasting and a blur of tremolos. They use the genre to dye sludge, hardcore, and old school death metal the color of midnight shadows. Think Cobalt’s Slow Forever album, or Death Mask from Lord Mantis. This LP is a furious leap in songwriting and general heaviness for the band. Vocalist Brett Krout unleashes his full arsenal of poisonous vocal approaches as drummer Nik Jensen pummels with destructive intent. Chapel Rats is a sledgehammer wallop that will crush the sacrificial blood out of each mosh pit victim.
On a personal note, I scheduled this premiere months ago on the strength of the first mastered tracks. Since then, the band’s bassist DV Karloff passed away unexpectedly. The outpouring of fond memories says more about him than we ever could. Our hearts go out to the band and his loved ones for their loss, and we wish you peace and healing during this tragic time. Much love from your comrades at Decibel.
Praise Ratmophet and join the congregation with your fellow vermin.
Pre-order Hatesong’s Chapel Rats from Metal Assault Records HERE
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Rest in power, DV Karloff.