Just shy of perfection. Hour of Penance mature their sound and songwriting and the result is one of the most impressive death metal albums I've heard in recent memory.
With this album Hour of Penance have found a sound of their own. Much more dynamics in terms of structure and songwriting than their previous works. Plenty of groovy sections you can slam your head to. While there are VERY SLIGHT references to other bands (Behemoth, Nile).... what DM band doesn't sound at least slightly like another?
While the other fellow here mentions they barely miss the upper echelon, I find the complete opposite. Not only do they match the upper echelon but they smash it to pieces. If they weren't already... Hour of Penance are now one of the top bands in their sub-genre. This album easily competes with Behemoth's Evangelion, and to my ears, is superior.
Between this, Lost Soul's "Immerse In Infinity" and Fleshgod Apocalypse's "Oracles" (and upcoming Mafia EP), I'd say fans of the genre have plenty to look forward to!
Easily one of the best albums this year and I have a feeling it will make a lot of year-end lists.
Hour of Penance sacrifice a tithe of uniqueness for a tithe of atmosphere akin to bands like Behemoth and Nile (to whom their sound didn't completely differ from in the first place). With Paradogma, they continue to release material of the same quality calibre they have been known for: really great death metal that just barely misses the upper echelon. If you like what the band has released in the past it's pretty much guaranteed that you'll enjoy this. Plus, HoP is just about the only death metal band where the vocals are the highlight.