HATEFUL – Set Forever on Me

HATEFUL – Set Forever on Me

A while ago I reviewed "Condemnation", the third album from Italian deathsters Valgrind whose guitarist, vocalist and bassist, Daniele Lupidi, happens to be also the same trimaster in the technical death metal band Hateful with "Set Forever On Me" also a 3rd installment. You’d think with the same main songwriter in both bands they would sound similar until you remember Marcus Valhalla (Omnium Gatherum, Insomnium), Jonas Petter "Lord Seth" Renkse or Dick Anders "Blakkheim" Nyström (both of Katatonia and Bloodbath). Not that Hateful is as severely different from Valgrind as Katatonia is from Bloodbath, for, in that respect, the similarity ratio is more like that of Omnium Gatherum to Insomnium, but Hateful is different enough, not similar to any of the above (besides Valgrind), though, but more an image of the Canadian scene represented by Cryptopsy (the most), Martyr or Goreguts with excellent, exciting, insightful, varied, and most importantly, very memorable songwriting to compliment the considerable skills.

Hateful, that is, the trio of Daniele, Massimo Vezzani (lead and rhythm guitars) and Marcello Malagoli (drums and vocals) had plenty of time and experience from 1997 through 2 demos: "After The Last Breath" (2000) i "Promo 2005" as well as 2 full lengths: "Coils Of A Consumed Paradise" (2010) and "Epilogue Of Masquerade" (2013), plus Lupidi had his time in Valgrind since 1996, Marcello in Blood Of Seclusion since 2007 and Massimo spent 9 years in Shadowfrost and also used to be in Valgrind, not to mention he and Daniele have been Voids Of Vomit members since 2016 and 2013, respectively. Their combined immense death metal experience demands excellent production so it is no wonder that the main impression I get from listening to "Set Forever On Me" is that it makes me want to revisit my Cryptopsy collection to see if "Whisper Supremacy" or "…and Then You’ll Beg" were as good as the Italians make them out to be. Surely I remember the old Death and Monstrosity riffing (Oxygen Catastrophe) or "Blueprints For Madness" Deceased Obituarish patterns in Cryptosyic tech sauce (Time Flows Differently)? Or could it be that Hateful uses technical death metal for a basis to introduce a wide range of dissonant and traditionally melodic playing in which endeavor they seem to resemble another, in this case Swedish, genre stalwart, Anata from their fantastic "The Conductor’s Departure" (On The Brink Of The Ravine, The Irretrievable Dissolution Process On The Shores Of Time, Will-Crushing Wheel)?.

There are numerous other influences detectable in this concoction such as early Testament (balladic intro), Ulcerate, Mastodon, "Testimony Of The Ancients" Pestilence and possibly Deathspell Omega (Our Gold Shined In Vain) or Nile, The Chasm and "Covenant" Morbid Angel as well as latter Death (The Irretrievable Dissolution Process On The Shores Of Time), Primus (bass) old Sepultura and Yattering (On The Brink Of The Ravine) and, finally, Suffocation (The Nihil Truth) but what makes this album echo the aforementioned influences is that it refuses to submit to impatient ears. If you just want to sample Hateful you might like it but only if you appreciate brutal death at first hearing. Otherwise it will crush you to a bite size, swallow you up and spit you out still alive, laughing as you slowly expire in agonizing anguish. Should you, though, choose to exhibit a more patient demeanor it will reveal itself to you with treasures incalculable. Some compositions could use more ebbs and flows and these happen to be at the end (The Nihil Truth, River’s Breath, The Proof) but, overall, songwriting is already excellent and insightful throughout.

With "Set Forever On Me" Hateful sets itself at the forefront of the technical death metal peloton with clever and varied songs which sacrifice neither brutality for the sake of melody nor vice versa. I strongly recommend it to lovers of inventive technology of death who like to tap their foot or snap their neck involuntarily every once in a while. I can’t wait to hear more, signori!