Jersey crushers Hath progress further into death intensity on scathing ‘All That Was Promised’

Bands should advance from record to record, which is the moat obvious thing ever. Sometimes they don’t, and we get music that doesn’t advance all that much, and maybe that’s OK. But if you’re going to make a run at this and you don’t want to keep cranking out the same shit, making moves and taking steps between records is healthy, unless you’re advancing toward “Load” or something. Huh?

New Jersey force Hath has shown a pretty marked improvement from their 2019 debut record “Of Rot and Ruin” and their new creation “All That Was Promised,” offering a deadlier more forceful brand of their progressive death metal. They remain influenced by black metal roots as well, and that helps make this nine-track, 51-minute beast into a force with which to be reckoned. The band—guitarist/vocalist   Frank Albanese, guitarist Peter Brown, bassist/vocalist Greg Nottis, drummer AJ Viana—wrote together as a four-piece unit for the first time, and the results are clear as this thing is a crusher that forces you to battle it up to the final smoldering minutes.

“The Million Violations” trickles in before the power detonates, and then the band pummels you into a paste. Scathing vocals begin to jerk and smother, the direction gets stranger, and vicious roars pound over the haze, ending with a stunning stampede. “Kenosis” is devastation as soon as it arrives, bludgeoning and smearing blood on the ground, the growls tearing through the cosmos. Clean vocals mix with hammering growls, and then things spiral as the spacey vibe multiplies, ripping at guts and disappearing into a void. “Lithopaedic” starts with synth and chants before the quaking begins, and a scathing attack is mounted. The playing zaps and melts into a calm section, coming out of the other end with a black metal-style force, and the chaos continues until everything mixes into a gothy aura. “Iosis” starts delicately with acoustics, giving you a false sense of security as the track comes to life. The pace is aggressive and deadly, going off in a crazed manner, fluid soloing flooding and crushing. The growls massacre, and then a doom meltdown arrives, ending everything in darkness.

“Decollation” opens with the drums decimating everything on front of them, growls and clean calls mixing, and the band slamming on the gas pedal. Synth strangeness breaks up the violence, psychedelic colors flush, and then the madness accelerates, bleeding into the ground. “Death Complex” burns in, taking swings and making contact, aggravating the collecting fires. There’s a muddiness to the mix, and then the soloing cuts through that, soaring into the atmosphere and robbing you of breath. “Casting of the Self” begins delicately, pushing into the stratosphere, and then things come apart, spewing muscles and bone. The vocals jolt as the melody plays a bigger role, the chorus feels raspy and raw, and guitars drip before suddenly fading. The title track slowly thaws as the guitars well up, and then the band starts to slay dangerously. The playing gets more intense as creaky speaking mars the senses, and things turn mesmerizing and humid, blistering to a violent end. “Name Them Yet Build No Monument” closes the record and is wiry when it starts, working into your bones, blasting into chunky thrashing. The guitars char as the pace stomps, the vocals get more maniacal, and the heat meets up with a heavy fog, ending the track in misery.

Hath sound channeled and animalistic on “All That Was Promised,” turning in a powerful, sharp performance that mixes death metal with blackened fury. Their precision is impressive but never trades heart for chops, and it’s an album that should go down easy for anyone with an appetite for heavy music. This is a solid step forward for Hath, who seem to be finding their hideous and devastating powers.

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