Conceived by Hate - Death & BeyondAre you ready? Are you prepared? It doesn’t matter really, Conceived by Hate are coming for you and your sacred cows with their sophomore album Death & Beyond, ready to prove that this death/thrash quintet from El Salvador can melt your face just as well as your beloved favorites. There’s no time for frivolous introductions nor loquacious asides, no respite or shelter either. Only the snapping of bones under boots. This is music that kicks in your door, shaves your cat, and screams at your furniture. Conceived by Hate demands that you choose the form of your destroyer only to interrupt you mid-reply with an eardrum-puncturing “IT’S US YOU BASTARDS!” So sit down, shut up and prepare to be unceremoniously snatched by the scruff of your neck and hurled into a maelstrom of artery-rupturing riffs and churning solos.

Death & Beyond opens with the frenetically-paced “Crossroad Of Fire,” a sneering tremolo bramble that strongly brings to mind Necrophobic, underpinned by a lively bass that bounces along like an excited puppy. Call to arms “This Is Underground” doubles down on the manic energy as it lurches and hurtles along like a possessed railcar, spitting out white-hot solos that wouldn’t be out of place on an At the Gates album of yore. Death & Beyond would grind your stamina to dust if every track cried out with ceaseless discharge, so it’s reassuring that Conceived by Hate smartly intersperses the album with songs of different hues and textures. “Chaos Upon Us” demonstrates this well, shifting hither-and-tither with varying time signatures, blending Arch Enemy and Carcass Amott-isms with a light dusting of keys for good measure. “We Choose Who Suffers” runs a current into your fast-twitch fibers by way of a hypnotic, snake-charming rhythm section that recalls Morbid Angel’s “Where The Slime Live.”

It’s when we get to the astounding “Below The Pale Sky” that Death & Beyond proves it’s something special. Opening with tremulous clean picking, the track soon unfolds into a poignant journey replete with powerful passages charged with bittersweet longing, conjuring the best of Amon Amarth. For most of the album, the rasps of vocalist Morbid serve the music with little compunction, turning in a decent performance that neither distracts nor shivers the blood. Although still harsh, the vocals on “Below The Pale Sky” are emotionally charged and surprisingly plaintive, demonstrating a range that I would like to hear more of on the rest of the album. Closing out the album at just over seven minutes, title-track “Death & Beyond” earns its widescreen running time with its latticework of charcoaled riffs, delicious percussion, and thrashy lead guitar that draws you in and drags you under. It’s an immensely satisfying conclusion to the album and despite its length, I didn’t want the song to end.

Conceived by Hate 2016

Putting together my impressions over the course of listening to Death & Beyond, my reoccurring thought was that everything was so professionally fashioned. The individual band members secrete musical talent from their pores, the aforementioned clever track composition gives the album a sense of balance, the cover art is impressively rendered and tonally relevant, hell even the track titles themselves are well conceived (by hate), an often overlooked aspect of album-craft. Better yet, clocking in at 45-minutes the running time is all but perfect. There are still areas for improvement, namely a few of the tracks such as “Worship the Old Ways,” “Summoning the Graves” and “The Underdog” are merely competent amongst a rogue’s gallery of greatness. I’ll also single out the production, while thick and organic, is partially hobbled by a mix that lacks balance, favoring percussion, lead guitar and bass while pushing into the background the vocals and rhythm section. This to me is a critical point because in order for Conceived by Hate to be counted with the genre’s heavy-hitters – and believe me they have everything in their arsenal needed to take it to the best – a cracking production that is punchy and clear is essential.

Conceived by Hate had hitherto passed beyond my ken but with Death & Beyond that has changed. This is a band I will keenly follow from here on in and if you have a modicum of taste so should you. If these po-faced Salvadorans build upon their already impressive base then this is a band I feel we will be hearing for years to come. Conceived by Hate are here. Let the carnage be our rapture.

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Morbid Skull Records
Websites: | |
Releases Worldwide: November 13th, 2016

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  • Scourge

    Oh thank Satan! A palate cleanser after Hemina!

    • Scourge
      • Treble Yell

        Thanks! At the time of writing the review the album wasn’t on Bandcamp. I’ve since updated the review and added the link.

        • Kill The King

          It’s still saying preorder. Interesting. Today is definitely 11/13.

    • Oscar Albretsen

      Yeah, thank you Satan. You’re the REAL reason I enjoy music!

      • Scourge

        Lol, you’re going to be ok! Don’t meltdown all the way! Your anger over the lack of happiness is quite ironic.

        • Oscar Albretsen

          LOL, OK, you got me there.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Hey, we can all be happy that it’s nice and miserable. That’s the truly “legit” music in our non-mainsream genre!

    • Scourge

      It’s going to be ok! Avantasia will release another album in two or three years and AMG will give a happy album a positive review and all will be forgiven by you I’m sure!

      • Oscar Albretsen

        Hey, 2 or 3 years before a happy album gets a positive review. Sounds about right. Of course, Avantasia is a power metal band, but their lyrical themes aren’t all that happy, and we all know that’s what really matters to us metalheads.

        • Hulksteraus

          You know what happened to Happy Metal Guy round here, AMG don’t do Happy, they do Angry…

          • Oscar Albretsen

            Well, they certainly do prefer it…

  • Zac Melvin-McNutt

    Me Gusta!

  • Siege Bantayan

    2016 has been a fantastic year for thrash.

  • Malev Draizhen

    Grade A solo to end the embedded track, positively makes me want to listen to the full album.

  • Wilhelm

    The band name kinda sucks, but who cares, the music is fantastic.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    You say the “mix lacks balance, favoring percussion, lead guitar and bass while pushing into the background the vocals and rhythm section”. Isn’t the rhythm section comprised of percussion and bass?

    • contenderizer

      was wondering the same thing

    • Vic279

      He is referring to the guitars. Drums keep the tempo while accompanying the rhythm. To me, the mix doesn’t sound bad, if a little weird and the solos are indeed amplified. It needs some getting used to.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    They shaved my cat and screamed at my furniture. Good thing I managed to keep them away from my sacred cows.

  • Dead1

    I like it.
    Has a real mid-1990s vibe thanks to the production. They don’t mind keeping it lose and organic either.

  • jersey devil

    This fucking kills! Groovy too, and I hear specks of technical death in places. Muchos gracias El Salvador.