Reviewed: April 2012
Released: 2012, Prosthetic Records
Hailing from Rome, Italy, Hour of Penance has made a significant impact on the European death metal underground over the last 10 years playing big extreme metal festivals such as Hellfest in France and Neurotic Deathfest in the Netherlands and touring extensively through Germany and the UK. At the moment the band is embarking on their first US tour this spring, supporting The Black Dahlia Murder, Nile, and Skeletonwitch. Hour of Penance has just released SEDITION, their fifth album and first with Prosthetic Records. I feel this is solid “new” death metal but nothing particularly original.
There’s a lot for a death metaller to enjoy here! After an ominous opening with chanting, SEDITION blasts off with “Enlightened Submission”. Fast, brutal, and bludgeoning, the opening track sets the pace for the entire album. Paolo Pieri’s vocals are standard evil death metal, somewhere in between a prime David Vincent (Morbid Angel) and Glen Benton (Deicide). Several vocal overdubs are used on most of the songs and after a while I felt the vocal effects were hurting the overall experience rather than enhancing it. Riffs and solos from Giulio Moschini and Paolo are good and at times there are melodic interludes interspersed with the blast beats and chaos. Rhythm section is very strong with excellent drumming from Simone Piras and heavy bass from Silvano Leone. Production is near flawless as everything is mixed quite well. Best tracks are “Fall of the Servants”, “Cannibal Gods” (reminds me of Deicide’s “Sacrificial Suicide” at times), “Sedition Through Scorn”, and “Blind Obedience”.
If you are a fan of Hate Eternal, Behemoth, or Nile, you will really dig this! If you are an old school 80’s / 90’s death metaller like myself, give this a try. Hour of Penance is not redefining the death metal genre, but they are sure putting their unholy stamp out there!
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