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Hate Division
Order of the Enslaved
August 2014
Released: 2014, Blast Head Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson

I could probably count on one hand the number of death metal bands I've ever heard of from Nova Scotia – never mind actually heard. So I was pleasantly surprised by the second album from New Glasgow's Hate Division, a band who have been honing their chops in the relative isolation of the Canadian maritimes for the better part of a decade.



Before we even get to the music, the artwork alone - from Ken Sarafin of Sarafin Concepts, who's done some rad covers of late for Archspire, The Kennedy Veil, Eternium and Oceano, etc. – is pretty bad-ass. Like the Dan Seagrave covers of old - though I guess he's still quite active - it promises a death metal trampling that the band are only too happy to deliver.



Hate Division straddle the line between death metal and tech death, recalling Suffocation/Chris Barnes-era Cannibal Corpse – especially in Sean Wyszynski’s guttural, occasionally vomitous vocals - but with a riffier, more concise attack. Tracks like “Pornography of War” and the bruising “Medicated” ride Howard Young's guitar chug, and while “Creatures of the Grid” takes a more blast-beaty turn, his punchy riffs keep things in check.



The more turbulent moments, as on “The Final Exhalation” are just that – moments. Unlike Archspire, their uber-technical brothers in arms from Canada's West Coast, Hate Division rarely indulge in complexity for complexity's sake, “Stricken” being one notable exception, which is certainly a big check mark in their favor.



The comparatively epic title track that closes the album is the most complicated and involved track here – not to mention the longest at 6:29. Yet it is the one song that really doesn't gel, sounding more like a collection of stitched together parts or scraps, making for a less than grand finale. Ironically, the instrumental centerpiece “Dawn of Quiescence” - the one song where you might expect the band to really go apeshit - is laid-back and almost mellow, echoing Metallica's “Orion” but at half the length and with like one-fourth the riffage.



With Order of the Enslaved, Hate Division prove they've got what it takes to hang with death metal's elite. With some luck, a strong publicity push or, better yet, a tour with some of said elite, perhaps the band can expand their profile beyond Eastern Canada. They certainly deserve to.
Track Listing

1. Peace.Tranquility.Subsequent.Deception
2. The Divine Reward
3. A Controlled Extinction
4. Pornography of War
5. World Descending
6. Creatures of the Grid
7. Dawn of Quiescence
8. The Final Exhalation
9. Stricken
10. The God Species
11. Medicated
12. Global Autopsy
13. Order of the Enslaved

Lineup

Sean Wyszynski - vocals
Howard Young - guitar
Paul Shaw - bass
Shane Forsyth - drums

Other reviews

» Order of the Enslaved
by Peter Atkinson


Next review: » Hate Eternal - Conquering the Throne
Previous review: » Hate - The Litanies of Satan DVD





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