Assumption – Hadean Tides Review

A band’s name can make or break them. Regardless if you’re a blues band reaching for ominously foreboding atmospheres, or a power metal band named after a cute, furry rodent who loves clay baths, whatever you name yourself lends as much, if not more, importance as your music. So when I happened across Hadean Tides, the second full-length from Italy’s Assumption, I assumed1 from their “death/doom” labeling and their band name that this was going to be some early My Dying Bride worship of the highest caliber, complete with weepy violins and flowers withering. But you know what your parents said about why you should never assume…

For while you do get a little of the early, early MDB vibe (minus violins and flowers), Hadean Tides projects its glare from the long shadow that diSEMBOWELMENT cast decades ago, and Mournful Congregation today. And man, does this album seethe at times, like opener “Oration,” with blistering tremolo riffs, subterranean bass, Giorgio Trombino’s unearthly growls, and plenty of double-bass and blasts galore. The feeling you get when the band slows down to a crawl compares to watching a great battle brought to an abrupt halt due to something even worse barreling down from the crimson sky. The suffocating aura of the speed, the horror brought forth by the dirge, and how menacingly bright the drums and guitars sound all add to a frightening and heady atmosphere.

As Hadean Tides progresses, the willingness to explore outside the transcendent peripheral leads to some big payoffs. “Submerged By Hadean Tides” shimmers at points like a classic Cynic track before crushing you like a grape in a wine press. Album standout “Triptych” consists mostly of a subdued bass riff with Trombino delivering a monotonous hymn that veers dangerously into boring territory, but as the song progresses, the intensity, delivery, and the ferocity builds to the point of explosion, and I can only imagine this song killing it live. Hell, even “Breath of the Daedalus,” an atmospheric instrumental smack dab in the middle of the album consisting mostly of ambient sound effects and chants, finds its footing with no problems on repeated listens.

It’s not to say it’s all smooth sailing into the blood-drenched void. Hadean Tides feels front-loaded, with just about all the heavy-hitters staking territory before “Breath of the Daedalus” begins. While “Triptych” remains the sole exception, the two tracks sandwiching it suffer from length issues.2 “The Liquescent Hours,” at just over four minutes, doesn’t feel like it has enough time to fully flesh itself out, while closer “Black Trees Waving” overstays its welcome at almost fifteen minutes, with certain riffs and melodies milked to the point of dry-heaving. Had both tracks been given a few tweaks and adjustments, Hadean Tides would be even more of an absolute monster.

As it stands, it will rightfully turn the heads of those who are yearning for incredible death/doom with a horrific atmosphere.3 Getting one’s attention with death/doom is fairly easy. Holding it requires skill on the part of the artist, and patience from the listener, and if you have the patience, Hadean Tides will reward you in spades. This is one Assumption you can make with little guesswork, and Hadean Tides is one hell of a journey to venture forth with.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Everlasting Spew Records
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: May 20th, 2022

Show 3 footnotes

  1. Har har har.
  2. Length issues have never kept me from leading a happy and productive life. – Holdeneye
  3. Also, this pairs so damn well with Elden Ring sessions.
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