Awaken the Ancients

Hatred Reigns

Canadian deathcore band HATRED REIGNS puts the pedal to the heaviest of metals in a quest to leave the rest of the bands in the dust.
February 11, 2024

NASA's Apollo 10 moon mission flew back to Earth at almost 40,000 kilometers per hour on their return trip from the moon.  Imagine being one of the three strapped into the small space capsule, their call sign named after the much maligned Peanuts character, Charlie Brown. "Charlie Brown!  This is Houston!  You are traveling fast as shit!  OH DAMN!"  You crash into the Pacific Ocean like a meteor, floating in disbelief, before the USS Princeton picks you up and a steady flow of admiring sailors from the United States Navy filter in to tell you how fucking awesome you are.  HATRED REIGNS is a bit like that: a punishing, no-nonsense barrage of speed and riffs.  The band dispenses of any extra badge in the name of heaviness and speed.  This is deathcore that has one single message: we are faster than you.  You'll never catch up.  You can fall from the fucking moon, pulled by Earth's massive gravitational pull, and you will still never, ever be as fast as us.

I suppose there's some honor in this quest for speed, but the band seems to sacrifice everything else in this mission. Title track "Awaken the Ancients" opens the album with pummeling blast beats and rolls that sound virtually digital and inorganic. The bass drum and snare are more akin to a pre-programmed yin and yang of zeroes and ones than any human attempt at connection, which I'm sure is the band's intention.  HATRED REIGNS's goal is to remove the human element from their sonic assault.  This is a world-wide hacking in both senses of the word.  A digital response to the inhumanity of this great big globe and the organic response of a people willing and able to sacrifice the limbs and lives of others in a quest for revenge and power. Neil Grandy's drums are a thing of wonder, as are the alien growls and screeches of Mitchi Dimitriadis. The latter's vocals are heavily affected and often doubled, adding to the inhuman approach to the songs on the album. This coupled with the majestic and frantic guitar sweeps of Jeffrey Calder and Adam Semler, give "Awaken the Ancients" an almost futuristic, science fiction-y feel.

Not until the third song "Obsolarium" does the band stop the endless barrage and try something different.  Inspired a bit by "Roots"-era SEPULTURA, the song features some interesting tribal drumming from Grandy, before taking the road more traveled and collapsing into another double-bass drum, grunty exploration of humanity's endless capacity for being shitty. "Ushered By Charon" is most likely about the ferryman of the river Styx, but it may as well be about one of the moons of the dwarf planet Pluto, in terms of its clinical and technical approach to deathcore.  The song is devoid of feeling, a soulless exploration of the underworld (or, in the case of the moon, the outer worlds). Final song "Departing Acheron" may provide the narrative link throughout the album, a fascination with Greek mythology and the depths of human depravity.  The river Acheron is believed to flow right into the soul of Hades, and one would suppose that trip might be even more intense than the one Apollo 10 took from the moon to the Earth.

I would imagine to those three astronauts who were able to orbit the moon back in 1969- only the third mission to do so- that the return trip to Earth probably wasn't the part they remember the most.  I could be wrong, of course, but imagine the feeling one must have as you look out the screen of your tiny capsule and see the moon underneath your feet and a tiny ball of blue, white and green off in the distance. Is there anything more enlightening and human than that?  Probably not, and HATRED REIGNS is here to tell you that, at our core, there's no such thing as "human".  We're all just another series of zeroes and ones in some maniac's vision of reality.  The fact that we bleed and suffer is insignificant.  What matters is this: if we are all heading to the inevitable collapse of the computer program we call life, we may was well do it fast as shit.

 

5 / 10

Mediocre

Songwritting

4

Musicianship

8

Memorability

4

Production

5
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"Awaken the Ancients" Track-listing:
  1. Awaken the Ancients
  2. Pain Leads to Nothingness
  3. To Depths Unkown
  4. Obsolarium
  5. Ushered by Charon
  6. Planes Divide
  7. Absentia
  8. Departing Acheron
Hatred Reigns Lineup:

Adam Semler- Bass, guitars

Jeffrey Calder- Guitars

Neil Grandy- Drums

Mitchi Dimitriadis- Vocals

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