Review Summary: Hour of Penance’s 2012 release is a ten out of ten and I have to piss so I’m not writing any more of this summary.
Hour of fuck
ing Penance is an Italian technical death metal band, but you already knew that unless you live life under a bag of rocks. They’re also an awesome band, so prepare your ears when you crack open their latest release – 2012’s Sedition
. Trying to focus on writing with this thing blasting off in your ears is like trying to prevent your dick from hardening while a probably-underage stripper bounces her titties at you, but you can only see this from the reflection in the bathroom mirror as you fist her ass. Yeah, I’m sure all the homosexual readers are groaning, but just pretend it’s a guy. I know that’s what you do every time your gramma serves you cookies. What was I saying? Oh, yeah. This album is awesome, and distracting, because I want to headbang and sing along to lyrics I can’t understand. Bear with my trainwreck of a review.
The album should not have individual tracks. All tracks should have been combined into a single song. They should have called this single song “Sedition,” after the album title. Alternatively, they could have separated album opener “Transubstantiatio” from the rest of the album and rename it “My Dick.” The reason I say this is not because I’m obsessed with my penis (I am), but because this album sounds like one continuous track. It feels odd – not good nor bad, but odd – if I start with one of the middle tracks. It almost feels like I’m starting in the middle of a song. Now maybe the stuff I just said makes more sense, eh? No? Well, moving on…
A lot of this album’s lyrical and symbolic content is based around religion being evil. Good. The truth is always a nice thing to hear. Their past releases, most notably Paradogma in 2010 and The Vile Conception of 2008, are definitely anti-religion. Sedition
, though, has something that Hour of Penance’s past works didn’t have; a stellar fuck
ing sound. They’ve always sounded good – at least as far back as 2005’s Pageantry for Martyrs. Their latest effort sees them focus their sound and develop their hatred for idiots from an offensive lyrical device into a powerful, punishing, pummeling force of metal. Between the technical-but-melodious riffing lead guitarist Guilio Moschini slings from his axe, the brutal, unrelenting vocal presence of vocalist/guitarist Paolo Pieri, the formidable basswork of Silvano Leone, and the unbelievably-fast drumming that must put lesser drummers in full body casts from mere exposure, courtesy of Simone Piras (who has since been replaced), Sedition
is not just an album – it’s a fuck
As I mentioned earlier, the album’s opener is called “Transubstantiatio.” Good luck pronouncing that. Seriously, try it. I can say up to “Tran sub” before I think of sandwiches and stop giving a fuck
. Anyways, it leads very abruptly into “Enlightened Submission,” which is probably about being bent over while studying for your next science test. The song is a good barometer for how fast the drums go – probably like a billion BPM or something – but doesn’t have the same melody to its guitar riffs as the next song, the aptly-titled “Decimate the Ancestry of the Only God.” The album is made up of plenty of simple but well-structured guitar riffs, technical backing passages, and intense melodies that are distinct enough to separate one song from another. “Decimate” will soon be known to you as “that song that goes WOOAAAAAAA WAA WAA WAAAAEEEEAAAA!” And before you ask, yes; that’s exactly what the melody sounds like. It’s fuck
The drum fills on this album will relentlessly destroy you, wait for the melodies of the guitars to resurrect you, and then destroy you again like some kind of Jesus Christ fairy tale with a happy ending. I hear a lot of poor, bland, unimaginative drum fills from today’s metal, and I think I’ll just redirect those bands to “Fall of the Servants” – the fourth track on Sedition
– because it has drums that lead the mix in sound and presence, but build upon the framework that the guitars contribute. That’s death metal drumming at some of its best and brightest, and it suits Hour of Penance’s style better than any of their other approaches thus far. You don’t always have to be as fast as this guy, but contributing to the mix and the song structuring is essential – something this particular drummer did quite well, as far as I’m concerned.
The guitars and the drumming both give way to Paolo’s vocals, eventually, as they indeed take the spotlight during most of the album. Every band member gets to shine; what with the relationship between the drum and the bass, the melody of the technical riffs, and the technicality of the melodious riffs, there’s no doubt that Hour of Penance is a complete band with a complete lineup. The vocals are the fiery steeds of Satan that truly drive this beast straight into your ears, though, and they excel at every turn. I found myself expecting the typical, “just okay” vocals from this record, and was equally surprised and elated when I got “fan-fuck
in’-tastic” ones. It’s really great stuff, and the best track to examine this in is without a doubt “The Cannibal Gods” – a standout amongst standouts with an incredible backing guitar and a stellar mixing of vocals.
At the end of the day, despite my wish that the album was presented more like an unpausable theatre movie, I can’t deny that the Italian warriors are fuck
ing incredible. Sedition
has everything that the band lacked on previous endeavours. This time, they bring all their knives to the gunfight, as it were, and hurl them straight into your eardrums like demon monkey ass ninjas. Instead of hurting, it instantly kills you and takes you (ironically enough) to a metal Heaven of sorts. Good on them; it’s been a long time coming. There are a lot of epic riffs, amazing vocals, and aggressive drum fills on this record to kill twelve cows, but it’s how they come together in the seamless listening experience you get that makes this album truly worthy of a full 10 out of 10. It’s an album that you will not fully appreciate without several listens; it hits you with powerful moments the first time around, but only after your first few times through will you realize how well they build up to make their powerful moments so powerful. Perhaps it’s less of a single-track “movie,” and more of a DVD with scene selection – and you know what? That’s just alright with me. Cheers.
2. “Enlightened Submission”
3. “Decimate the Ancestry of the Only God”
6. “The Cannibal Gods”
7. “Sedition Through Scorn”