Released: 2014, Greyhaze Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
The Brazilian metal scene has brought a host of metal heavyweights to the fore and 'No Peace', the first full album from Hatefulmurder, seeks to inject a powerful combination of Death and Thrash influences to build on their swelling reputation back home. Having built themselves up from successful promotion of a handful of EP releases, the band most recently came to the fore on the international stage winning the Wacken WOA Metal Battle in the nation's capital Rio di Janeiro.
To use the band's own words here, the concept behind the record took inspiration from the absurdities of religious bullshit and the cover art, provided by lead vocalist Felipe Lameira, is highly suggestive of a grenade pin ejecting to spark something aggressive and revolutionary. That being said, this one packs all the punch of a rude awakening from the offset and is relentless throughout. The stop-start rhythm of the opening few tracks rallies your attention before an unholy roar leaves you with no doubt that you are being reeled into something enraged and blasphemous.
The overall feel of the album is of one that is both unpredictable and merciless. Intricate riffs rarely regress to a static chug; they evolve and improve before turning a corner and becoming something else. They succeed most in adding a little flair to the guttural powerhouse vocalisation that is so synonymous with other bands of the sort. Its a riff-heavy composition that gives the album most of its momentum, with the other players falling in line to suit, and it's a shame that some impressive work becomes slightly anonymous as the whole thing bursts forwards with the stopping power of a runaway train. At first glance, it takes until the penultimate track for you to really notice to the full extent that the guy can play.
However, despite some interesting changes of pace and a few impressive fills, I would struggle to describe the drum work to be anything more grand than 'solid'. The bulk of what's on show comes across as flat and monosyllabic - at times raining down like a pneumatic twathammer seemingly footstomping his way through a muddy puddle to the centre of the Earth. While this doesn't compromise the overall integrity of the aforementioned 'solidity', it perhaps demonstrates a lack of imagination and taking the easy way out in trying to achieve the aggressive heaviness that the album is striving for.
Swift changes in pace are a real strength of the record, but the atmosphere remains largely unchanged throughout, although they do make a few attempts to do so. The track 'Ways of the Lust' is a soft piano interlude sitting between two of the most unforgiving tracks on the album, but in what is otherwise essentially a slogfest, it doesn't add to or detract anything. While this section stands black and white against the onslaught, the outro to 'Scars of God' subverts the feel of the record entirely and gives it a much more reflective stance. Cleanly picked acoustic guitar draped over somber female vocals inject an ambiance to the record that is absent throughout and was a genuine head-turning moment that stood out against the grind. Another glance at the cover art here, and it tells a different tale of despair entirely.
What we have on display here is an above average performance that is rigid and consistent, without ever being outstanding. The raw essence of the album harnesses quite a two-dimensional emotion but all the little twists and turns sustain your interest throughout. What reels you in at one end and leaves you questioning what the hell just happened at the other is a clear expression of something personal. A disregard for decibel levels is strongly advised.