HAT (Norway) “The Demise of Mankind” CD review by Perplexed Sjel

HAT (Norway) “The Demise of Mankind” CD review

by Perplexed Sjel

By Perplexed Sjel

H Is For Hate.

You’ve got to expect something with a really traditional backbone when you listen to an album called ‘The Demise of Mankind’ by a band called Hat from Norway, which translates to Hate in English. That is precisely what this album turns out to be. From the first bombastic song, entitled ‘Guds Skitne Avkom’, it is clearly evident that Hat are going to be a raging, unrelenting black metal band in the mould of the second wave. The bombastic production, the really intense, hateful vocals and the distorted riffs are all features and characteristics of bands who adopt the stylistic approach spearheaded by numerous Scandinavian bands in the early 1990’s. ‘The Demise of Mankind’ is a decent album with lots of catchy melodies, but it also very predictable. The idea behind this band has been done to death and you could even call Hat a by-the-numbers type of band, one who is simply retelling old stories which were created by certain inspirational forefathers like Burzum, Darkthrone and Emperor. The Scandinavian style is still alive, though its message has been lost by the modernisation of black metal in recent years.

Occasionally I do like to listen to something with a heart that beats with old blood, but it isn’t very often because you truly can predict and foresee how the sound will evolve before you’ve even experienced it. Hat do occasionally branch away from the old school into the modern world by, as on songs like ‘Eternal Damnation of the Soul’, using samples when the second wave would simply play on with their unrelenting style. I think, though I cannot be sure, the sample used on the aforementioned song might even be taken from a well known movie called The Green Mile. The sample does seem to relate to the nature of the song if this is the case because, as most people will know by now, The Green Mile is about a man on death row who’s about to receive his call to the chair where he is about to be executed for a heinous crime. The sample doesn’t exactly play a significant role in the song, only featuring towards the end, but it does signal a cohesion between the instrumentation, vocals and samples used sparingly on the album. It isn’t there for no reason, or without purpose. It does heed what the title of the song suggests.

Other than this quirky use of samples, the album is rather formulaic, but that isn’t to say it isn’t enjoyable. Take the ridiculously infectious ‘Schadenfreude’. This song generates some incredibly talented riffs with lots of melody to spare. The riffs, central to the album, are so damn catchy I don’t even notice my head begin to nod as I’m writing this. The melodies of the riffs are what makes this album an essential listen for anyone who loves the old school and even though Hat don’t take influence from any one band from the 1990’s in particular, they mesh them all together and take the best bits of each. However, in this day and age, a slightly under-produced quality to the production feels dated and stale at times. The production could do with being juiced up and spliced with a cleaner quality. The instrumentation is still audible and though the albums description suggests there is no bass player in the line-up, there is definitely bass used on the album. Its very low and ebbs menacingly beneath the guitars, only ever supporting it with backing and enhancing lines that don’t deviate much.

The vocals have a tendency to override each of the instrumental elements and the drums are somewhat lacking in quality, especially in terms of the cymbals and snare, but the melodies are just too catchy to not enjoy and tend to take away the focus on the elements which don’t spark as much delight. As I understand, Hat are probably a little more similar to Gorgoroth than any over band from Scandinavia and I’ve never really like them, yet I do like this album. There’s a raw energy to it that is likable and even though certain areas of the album, like the altering vocals (which can be occasionally hissed with very little impact) and under-produced feeling alongside the, at times, ineffective drumming, are a little more awkward feeling, the album does tend to flow rather nicely due to the high levels of fore fronted melody. ‘The Demise of Mankind’ is a glorious melody-filled affair, but quite predictable at times with its high tempo and expected second wave inspired characteristics.

– Perplexed_Sjel, June 13th, 2010

Review link: http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/Hat/The_Demise_of_Mankind/224828/Perplexed_Sjel

Hat links:

Myspace: www.myspace.com/Evighat

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Hat666

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/evighat

Last fm: www.last.fm/music/Hat

Abyss Records links:

Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialAbyssRecords

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

Last fm: www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbyssRecords

Other links:

To purchase HAT “The Demise of Mankind” CD and other HAT merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/product_info.php?products_id=6272

And to preview a song from their latest release “Vortex of Death” go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX-KoqPnUJY or www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7XWXxp5LRk

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