HateSphere – Hatred Reborn Review

Hi. I’m sorry to bug you, but do you have a moment to talk about HateSphere? I know what you’ll say (no), but there’s more than meets the eye (ha!). Did you know they released their eleventh album this year (why?), and it’s just as good as their last one (2.5/5.0?). So, if you don’t mind moving your foot away from the door, I’d like to come in (wtf, no). Nested inside these liner notes are the secrets to being angry at everything always (get that away from me). Please, sir/ma’am/whatever you are, I must insist (why are you staring at my crotch?). Hidden inside this blood-stained picture disc lies riffage like you’ve never heard before (dude, are you serious?). There are even drums and bass, if you can believe it (why are you touching my dick??). I must implore you; you must sample the good words in my hands (how the fuck did you get into my house??). They even have a new vocalist to keep this hate train rolling (again?). That’s right, bend over and accept these tunes (oh, Jesus!).

That’s right. This Danish quintet is back to massage your thighs with melodic coconut butter before headbutting you in the junk with their signature combination of groove and thrash. After taking longer than usual between albums, HateSphere has stripped back all those orchestral interludes and sprinklings of clean vox to deliver the back-to-basics Hatred Reborn to you. And new vocalist Mathias Uldall (from the metalcore outfit Royal Deceit) is along for the ride. Plucked from the same tree The Haunted found Marco Aro, Uldall punches baby faces with strong barks and screams at God with phlegmy shrieks—though his barks are better than his screams. So suited is Uldall for the HateSphere sound that, had I not told you, you probably would have never known. You’re welcome. But what’s in store for Hatred Reborn with a new frontman and its bare-bones approach? Probably nothing.

On the first spin, Hatred Reborn is another HateSphere record. There are stompers, headbangers, melodicers, and everything you’d expect from the band. There are great moments, meh moments, and everything in between. But, as a whole, Hatred Reborn is here to hit you where it hurts. While melodic moments can be found, this record is primarily a torture chamber filled with hammers. For example, take the thrashy trio of “Cutthroat,” “The Truest Form of Pain,” and closer “Spitting Teeth.” “Cutthroat” and “Spitting Teeth” are the true moshers of the album. The first track is a big, thrashy piece akin to The Haunted. It’s a simple but effective piece that never lets you go and delivers a tasty chorus. “Spitting Teeth” uses clever guitar leads and mid-paced transitions to climax at the end. “The Truest Form of Pain” mixes things up with a soothing acoustic guitar introduction (like the ones you’ll find in the opener) before attacking the emo kids in the same way as “Cutthroat.” The best part, however, is the back-end riff change that vice-grips your scrotum.

Unfortunately, these songs are the best of the bunch. While the title track kicks off the album strongly, the back half holds the only moments worth hearing. “Brand of Sacrifice” has great potential if it wasn’t so jarring and all over the place. From the mid-paced groove to the cleaner vocal style of the chorus to the sad boi melodic transition, there’s a lot to enjoy here. But halting the build to allow the acoustic guitars to shine crushes the track’s momentum. And while the instrumental opener is a gorgeous acoustic piece that sets up the record nicely, the heavy instrumental “A Violent Compulsion” has no right to be on this album. I’m assuming its purpose is to set up the closer, but it’s a useless track that is better skipped so you can get to “Spitting Teeth.”

Like the last couple of albums by HateSphere, I neither hate nor love Hatred Reborn. I appreciate the reset and focus on the bludgeoning without all the orchestral arrangements and fluff. Unfortunately, despite the focus, Hatred Reborn is not a complete album. There are some solid tracks, some lacking or going off the rails, and others that should have been cut. That said, fans of these angry Scandinavians will enjoy this album. Like they did the last one. And the one before. And the one before that.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 256 kb/s mp3
Label: Scarlet Records | Bandcamp1
Websites: hatesphere.com | facebook.com/hatesphere666
Releases Worldwide: March 24th, 2023

Show 1 footnote

  1. You can find the album here.
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