Track Premiere: Hateful – Will-Crushing Wheel

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Raising technical death’s banner over a damned landscape.

Love it or hate it, technical death metal passed critical mass years ago and is here to stay whether lost in its own little narrow, noodly realms or flourishing in the limelight of an audience increasingly more conductive to ideas arcane and unusual in nature. It’s not hard to feel somewhat jaded as the subgenre’s own namesake has gone from representing ideas and concepts once otherworldly and now very mundane and everyday. After all, in a time when virtuosity is the normal the alien has become the ordinary, doesn’t simply being able to play pretty well stop feeling so special?

Hateful on paper don’t sound like they’d be an antidote to the pickle the subgenre has worked itself into, but the devil resides in the specifics of their sound. Their twisting and turning sound eschews the modern trends of lead-spewing shred and abrupt hyper-blast for a more versatile approach, at once “old school” yet far from redundant. In their place are winding passages of spiralling riffs, laced with understated melodies that almost remind of Disincarnate, Atheist, and a de-mystified Blood Incantation bound to a rigidly militant sense of rhythm, propelling this song through a dizzying series of alterations and digressions from its semi-catchy opening riffs. A large part of their sound hearkens back to earlier ’90s death metal as you might imagine especially with its complex Suffocation style structures and pummeling drumming, yet it manages to sound fresher than what passes for OSDM as well as their techy compatriots. The wildly spiralling though concisely executed songwriting combined with riffs that have just enough juicy melody to juxtapose their constantly needling aggression strikes a careful balance rarely seen and helps give them a darker, anxiety-ridden atmosphere.

What’s really surprising is that this is all coming from three musicians whose background is in the raw morbidity of early ’90s death metal in the form of Voids of Vomit, Valgrind, and Blood of Seklusion. You wouldn’t be able to tell by listening but it’s impressive how little they stylistically resemble their work in those bands on this track. Set Forever On Me releases September 25th on the mighty Transcending Obscurity Records. You can preorder the album and purchase merch on their spot at the label’s bandcamp and enjoy three additional preview tracks.

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