Hadal Maw
Oblique Order



by Robert Garland STAFF
December 27th, 2021 | 4 replies

Release Date: 12/31/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Future Destroyers

While Hadal Maw might be accredited to being from Australia’s food capital (a contentious point if you ask me if you’ve ever been to the Hunter Valley wine region), the Melbourne based lads have been steadily building a reputation for audible violence since their inception in 2012. Fairly one could argue that it hasn’t been an easy road, with the back half of the band’s career plagued by the onset of a pandemic - but we’re not going to lean on that for the sake of moving this review on for a few sentences. Mostly, Hadal Maw’s surge towards death metal stardom has been on the heels of a few un-quiet releases and being the support act for seminal bands such as Archspire, Decapitated, Suffocation, Thy Art is Murder, Anaal Nathrakh, The Black Dahlia Murder, Aborted and Beyond Creation while occasionally helping Aversions Crown, Psycroptic and Within Destruction tour abroad. Still, they pushed forwards, adding new members Liam Weedall (Dyssidia) and Jarrod Sorbian (of Départe fame) on an EP which includes featurettes from fellow Aussie’s, Karina Utomo (High Tension), Luke Frizon (Growth) and Antony Oliver (Descent) in the vocal department.

Oblique Order itself is many things. Despite being only four tracks long (and totaling a whopping nineteen minutes), Hadal Maw’s 2021 EP (released in the year’s waning hours) is a bold, yet blinding conception into the bastard lovechild of all the acts mentioned above. Oblique Order is a frenzy of death metal tropes, unrestrained and jammed into a nineteen minute summary of where (I hope) this act is likely to go in the near future. Discordant melodies bleed through lumbering Ulcerate-isms a la “Fetishize Consumption”—the earmarks of the modern disso-death metal wave strong in both essence and ‘form’ while retaining that all important sense of groove. The title track, just like the opener before it has an individual, distinguished feel while feeling very much at home within the sandbox of adjectives fans would give to the likes of both Archspire and Thy Art is Murder (the usual brown, sand-covered logs absent from this conversation). Swirling, lurching riffs embrace a fervent percussion awash with blast beats and snarled vocals. The usual death growls interject and interweave while the guitar’s leads switch between jarring dissonant climes and ear caressing guitar solos. A climax builds unconsciously for the listener before ambient bridges breathe in, breathe out and the track roars back to life.

The second half of Oblique Order continues much like the first with the exemption of the fourth and final track, “Vile Veneration”. Doom-y melodic chords bridge the divide between dissonance and atmosphere but the feeling becomes short-lived as gruff vocal gravel and typical blast beating take over once again. If not for the song’s slower back half the track itself may have fallen into the same spoken for climes the rest of Oblique Order is known for. Yet, there’s contrast and compositional shape to be found here; namely in the form of sauntering riffs and a well-placed guitar solo. Contrariety in the face of normally unwavering heaviness.

Largely Oblique Order is immediate in nature, uncompromising in its mix and mayhem. Hadal Maw offers no end of blithe, unconcerned that their music doesn’t tick the happy-go-lucky boxes that the avant garde crowd feed on. Yet, there is something…quirky here; vicious and comical like that one clown in every horror movie everywhere. Whatever the case Oblique Order does the job succinctly. As a whole you could be forgiven for missing what this little Aussie death metal act has offered up so far. Hadal Maw clearly isn't on the musical radar this year (something to do with that New Year’s Eve release date perhaps?), but if nothing else Oblique Order shows signs that something great is coming for these death-heads, even if the disso-tech death market stays as saturated as it has been these last few years.

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user ratings (6)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
December 27th 2021


Album Rating: 3.5

Blighttown Records

Release: 31 December 2021



Digging: Krallice - Crystalline Exhaustion

December 30th 2021


"Maw" is such a great word for metal. That's all I have to say at this time. Thank you.

Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2021


Album Rating: 3.5

Decent metal to see the end of 2021 that's for sure.

December 31st 2021


Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty solid little ep

Digging: Discarnated - Deus Misereatur

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