HOUR OF PENANCE
Italy, Prosthetic Records, Technical Brutal Death Metal
Hour of Penance is one of those bands that I don’t give nearly the attention they deserve. However, after hearing 2012’s Sedition, I realized that I have been making a serious, grievous, and all around appalling error. Hour of Penance maintain their place among the upper echelon of technical death metal with the storm of enlightened savagery that is Sedition.
Italy’s Hour of Penance play a similar galloping death to Oracles era Fleshgod Apocalypse, with emphasis on the savage heft. The drums, noticeably (and appropriately) high in the mix, remind me of the whirlwind skinbashing of Hate Eternal. The guitars hit the soaring highs of Behemoth, but maintain a strong balance of jackhammer riffing and buzzsaw cycling. The bass carries the crypt-dwelling ghastliness of bands on the brutal spectrum, like Odious Mortem. And the vocals, the bite of the beast, froth with monstrous yet intelligent malevolence, spitting caustic sedition.
Additionally, the album boasts a small amount of studio wizardry, such as large (church?) bells or short samples, but most importantly, an overall WEIGHT. The album sounds sounds huge, thick, and meaty, as if a hellish maelstrom became physical and went and on the hunt.
The ideal imagery to describe Sedition is the perfect storm – initially raging with a blast of destruction, the album flows fluidly from one track to the next like waves of a hurricane…but without that calm in the middle. No, Sedition doesn’t have time for a calm interlude, and nor should a listener ask for one. Truly relentless and monstrous, yet refined and precise, Hour of Penance reminds us that feral, turbulent, vicious music need not be unintelligent or poorly produced. Instead, the perfect storm is born from refined precision that embraces its primeval roots through forcible and wicked production.
Author: Witness to the Void