Sacrilege of Humanity
01. Rattlesnake Dream
02. Sea of Truth
04. We Are the Universe
05. Mirror Giants
06. Hymn of the Forgotten
08. Lost in the Sands
09. Those Who Were
10. Shine for the Chosen One
11. The Blood of Stalingrad
12. Maerd Sekanselttar
[Selfmade God | 12/20/10]
As pretentious as it sounds, I rarely get sent music that I haven’t heard before. At the very least, a band’s name is familiar, but this was not the case upon receiving an email from Selfmade God Records promoting Calm Hatchery, a technical death metal outfit from the underrated Poland, and their new album. I generally tend to avoid the unknown death metal because there’s always something wrong with it (generic, basement-quality production and so on), but my itching for some new tech death after digesting Decrepit Birth‘s latest effort ad infinitum took over. They say curiosity killed the cat, but I can say with utmost certainty that this is not always true because Sacrilege of Humanity is a great release.
A quick glimpse at the artwork should give you the impression of Egyptian-related themes. And fortunately, this is one hundred percent present. Nile is a clear influence here, as seen in tracks like “Hymn of the Forgotten” which sounds like the first minutes of Nile’s “Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten.” But what prevents Calm Hatchery from being a Nile clone is the lack of nontraditional instruments. With the exception of the first and last song, almost everything on Sacrilege of Humanity is done with a guitars, drums and vocals. The evocation of the desert-y, mystic theme is done just by done and well-executed arrangements and for that I commend these upcoming Polish metallers.
From the hypnotizing sweeping in “We Are the Universe” (which brings to mind the middle section of Death‘s legendary “Crystal Mountain”) to the change-of-pace, low-end resonating licks in “Hymn of the Forgotten”, Calm Hatchery gives you a lot of good technical death metal. The virtuosity here isn’t something to ignore, yet at the same time Calm Hatchery avoids exercising futility by making sure said virtuosity is well-placed. Frantic, incoherent scaling is absent here, something you see all too often in modern tech death. And if the connections to Nile couldn’t get more abundant, vocalist Szczepan’s extremely similar gargantuan gutturals lead each song through its brutal sections, never straying from his style except for the occasional yell or dual-layer vocal section. His behemoth vocals tear the foreground up and is easily one of the better vocalists in metal. Unfortunately, this good comes with some bad. Almost, if not every, song has at least one death metal passage that transitions to an awesome, memorable, squeal-heavy section. That’s doesn’t sound bad at all, but the blazing riffs and double bass that make up said death metal need to be exceptionally good and the conflict here is that sometimes they aren’t. Much of the memorability comes from these wank-ridden passages, which is totally fine, but I love riffs and the only time they truly stand out are in “Hymn of the Forgotten” and “The Blood of Stalingrad.” This is due to the change of pace and direction, emphasizing on being slow and riff-centric rather than bashing your skull in with speedy playing. It’s a shame they couldn’t mix the two consistently, but it’s not enough to ruin the album and is made up for in the pure badassery of their guitar wizardry. Just listen to the solo at the end of “Lost in the Sands” and you’ll see what I mean.
These guys know how to play and they execute it well for the most part. Combine it with the arrangement of the music that gives the album a thematic direction and some sexy production that puts some life into the record and avoids annoyingly loud drums (cough Neaera) and you have Sacrilege of Humanity. It’s not going to be the album of 2010, but it’s certainly an album everyone should check out.
Welcome to the repeat button on iTunes, Calm Hatchery. You earned it.
Calm Hatchery – Sacrilege of Humanity gets…