Review Summary: L'odio di Dio
Let me start by saying that I'm a Hour of Penance fan, I like this band since I heard Sedition
in 2012, when I was looking for something similar to Behemoth, that is, a frantic modern extreme metal that escaped the established canons of the genre. It didn't take me long to get to know their entire discography, starting to follow the band's career ever since. Like Nile or Behemoth, Hour of Penance is one of those bands with an immediately recognizable brand. Evolving from a straightforward brutal death metal signature, reminiscent of the Dutch scene and Hate Eternal, to a more technical approach, these sinful Italians reached their peak of popularity between 2008 and 2013 with the all-powerful triumvirate: The Vile Conception
. Although I enjoyed the two albums that followed, which presented a more accessible side, these releases didn't get the same welcome from the underground circuit, now more focused on bands like Fleshgod Apocalipse, which added the symphonic element to Hour of Penance's original formula, managing to position themselves in the pole position of Italian extreme metal.
"Mass Crucifixion Of Kings' " decadent background symphony welcomes us to Misotheism
, slowly opening the veil for the upcoming Dantesque scene. The torment of thousands of souls, waiting in line for their inevitable crucifixion at the hands of the fearsome, almighty executioner.
The fall of the powerful has begun.
"Blight And Conquer" hits us with a familiar riff, there's no doubt we're facing Hour of Penance's unmistakable aesthetics. What immediately strikes me is the surrounding ferocity, which instantly reminded me of Sedition
. The combination of this massive intensity with the powerful catchy chorus reveals Misotheism's
DNA, which positions the band again in 2012, while keeping the sense of harmony Hour of Penance presented in the two previous albums. This formula, which combines harmony and fury, remains throughout the album, with the band this time focusing more on the choruses, as we can hear in songs such as "The Second Babel" or "Fallen From Ivory Towers", both featuring interesting choruses, with the latter also including the best riff on the album. As was to be expected, the band's overactive approach remains unchanged, and to some extent even more pronounced, when compared to Regicide
and Cast the First Stone
. "Lamb Of The Seven Sins" and especially "Flames Of Merciless Gods", arguably one of the album's highlights, are both good examples of this brutal hyperactivity, which is the band's most identifying element. Hour of Penance's early influences emerge again in "The Second Babel" and "Dura Lex Sed Lex", which feature Hate Eternal-esque aesthetics, showing the band is proud of its past, without fear of showing their references, or even introducing new textures, such as Anaal Nathrakh-esque chorus in "Sovereign Nation" or the more avant-garde approach in "Iudex", which sometimes reminds Deathspell Omega. However, the most surprising moment lies at the end, with "Occult Den Of Snakes", Misotheism's
most progressive offering, which features deathcore patterns reminiscent of bands like Humanity's Last Breath. It would have been interesting to include one more song with a similar approach, thus giving Misotheism
greater tridimensionality and diversity, further enhancing the album's intrinsic quality.
is the sound of preserverance, yet another chapter in a two-decade story that has never abandoned its profane hatred of God, and even though it lacks the faithful following it once had, this original Italian sin still has enough hatred to make the gods tremble.