As fans of extreme metal, we’ve all been told at one time or another that our music of choice is “just noise.” We’ve been asked how we can subject ourselves to such constant anger and aggression without it affecting our mental and emotional health. When sharing our favorite songs with a friend or loved one in a misguided attempt at human connection, we’ve watched their faces contort with incredulous revulsion as the harsh vocals kick in. We’ve been told with charitable intent “you can’t listen to this stuff forever” and that we’d surely grow out of it once we left our youthful indiscretion behind. Our response? Shut out the naysayers with a good pair of headphones blasting our favorite grindcore album. Ah, but every great once in a while something slithers out of the darkest corners of extreme metal with such an abhorrent sound that we find ourselves saying “Damn. I can’t listen to this stuff forever.” That vile creature is Hatred, by Merda Mundi, literally translated to Shit World.
Even if readers are not familiar with Merda Mundi‘s brand of chaotic raw black metal, they will likely be acquainted with its lone band member Déhà, Belgium’s hardest working metal musician. Among his—I’m gonna go with thousands of—other projects, he is also the lone or primary member of post-black project Déhà and funeral doom band Slow, both of which have been covered—by which I mean sprayed with Muppet juice—on this here site. But if those projects represent Déhà’s ego and superego, Merda Mundi is his raging id. The four song suite, consisting of “Condemn Them,” “Castigate Them,” “Annihilate Them” and “Fucking Hate Them,” is layer upon layer of blast beats, frantic guitars and neck-vein popping screeches. There are fleeting moments of death metal/grind riffing, but for the most part this is raw, deliriously aggressive black metal.
On the positive side of things, fans of the extreme are unlikely to hear a more violent 36 minutes of black metal in 2019. It’s the kind of aural terror that strips finish off of furniture and peels soft tissue from bone. This being raw BM, the production job cuts off much of the low end, leaving the layers of guitar tremolos to buzz at a frequency detrimental to human health. Combine this with Déhà’s protracted, unrestrained shrieks—think Stavros Giannopoulos or Dylan O’Toole, but ANGRIER—and Hatred will leave you feeling like your ears are full of cobwebs and spider egg sacs.
As for the downsides, fans of the extreme are unlikely to hear a more uniform 36 minutes of black metal in 2019. It’s the kind of aural terror that grabs your attention for one track, but becomes unpleasantly shrill and repetitive after four. This being raw BM, the production job cuts off much of the low end, leaving the layers of guitar tremolos to buzz at a frequency proven to cause paralysis and involuntary bowel movements. Combine this with Déhà’s protracted, unrestrained shrieks, and Hatred will leave you feeling like your ears are full of cobwebs and spider egg sacs. Point is, the reasons to like this album are the same reasons you might never want to listen to it.
If you’re looking to impress your wild eyed, spiked gauntlet wearing friends, drop one of these tracks on your “Songs To Burn the World To” playlist. If you find yourself sitting through all four, maybe take a day off of work for self-care. Take a walk in the fall air and feel the crunch of leaves underfoot. Call your grandma, just to chat. Adopt a cat from the animal shelter. Joking aside, Déhà has already put out at least one solid album this year, and there’s a good chance the upcoming Slow release will be equally high quality. While his Merda Mundi project is impressively vile, Hatred is also oppressively one-note. File under “masochists only.”