Released: 2007, Steamhammer
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The Danish metallers Hatesphere have always been sort of Denmark´s answer to Sweden’s The Haunted to me, maybe because both bands tend to play a modern and aggressive metal that can be linked to that much loved as well as loathed Gothenburg sound. But where The Haunted seem to cast aside its existing skin on every release they put out (both for good and bad), Hatesphere have usually wisely decided to stick with their already existing, old guns - and only oiling and re-tuning them carefully for a new, lethal strike.
SERPENT SMILES AND KILLER EYES, which is the band´s fifth full-length studio effort, is good for what it is: Modern, heavy and groovy Gothenburg-ish Thrash Metal that obviously should appeal to many of us - at least that´s what it did for me. I admit I haven´t heard the band´s previous album, THE SICKNESS WITHIN at all, so naturally I cannot make any comparisons between this new album and their previous effort in terms of what might have changed or happened in the band´s musical direction, if any. Anyway, I gotta admit there´s at least a good balance between more fast-paced and more slow-paced songs on the band´s newest album. If you have always dug Hatesphere´s faster types of songs (that I happen to like very much myself), there´s a good handful of songs on SERPENT that really punch you straight to your face in sheer aggression (“Damned Below Judas”, “Forever War”, “Feeding the Demons”, “Floating” etc) - and on the other hand, if you crave a mangling from the heavier side of the band, there´s always such songs on the band´s menu like “The Slain”, “Drinking with the King of the Dead” and “Let Them Hate” that serve that purpose pretty convincingly and darn well even, I guess. What can sincerely be stated as well is that Hatesphere have never quit kicking our asses, unlike The Haunted. That´s the main difference between those two aforementioned bands.
In need of some good and friendly violent fun? That´s what is offered on Hatesphere´s SERPENT SMILES... anyway, so if you lack that kind of fun, here´s definitely something for your needs.