Metal Review – Deep in Hate: Chronicles of Oblivion

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Metal Review – Deep in Hate: Chronicles of Oblivion
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Deep in Hate: Chronicles of Oblivion
Brutal Death Metal, Deathcore
Kaotoxin Records
June 3rd, 2014
Release length: 35:55
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France’s Deep in Hate has gone through a pretty large change since their formation back in 2004. There have been a number of line-up alteration that left drummer Nicolas Bastos (L’Esprit du Clan) and guitarist Vincent Gross the only founding members. Rounding out the group at this time are Florian (Underflesh) on guitar, Kapute (Kronocorps) on bass, and vocalist Matthieu Renaud (From Wisdom to Hatred), all brought into the fold between 2008 and 2010. There also was a major shift in the band’s direction. After two demos and full-lengths, what started out as a Brutal Death Metal and Grindcore outfit eventually became modern Death Metal and Deathcore, though the latter half of the last two has become the dominant force of their third full-length album Chronicles of Oblivion. Is this new outing another uninspiring entry to the style, or is having Kaotoxin Records by their side a sign that this is something unique and engaging?

After a decent Ambient piece for the “Introduction,” you are greeted with an offering that is as formulaic and generic as it gets for the Deathcore genre today. Steady one note chords with some equally as simple distorted hooks litter the main verses, though a few bridges show a little more technicality. Even most of the vocals are flat and boring most of the time, while the drums are fairly basic until the one note chug of the breakdown that hits like it is clearly scripted to. No shift, no warning, just a brief prause where the band seems to go “Well we met qualification a and b, time to move onto part c of these here diagrams.” The odd thing is, while incredibly basic, “Genesis of Void” does have its moments that can get your head bobbing along. This is thanks more to the minor complexities in the lead guitars from time to time, rarely going past ten second intervals with the segment right after said breakdown pushing it by doubling them up. This whole paragraph sums up a good amount of Chronicles of Oblivion quite well: One note riffs aside simple hooks, forced and/or boring breakdowns often existing to feed the scene kiddies, and random bursts that show an ability to play their instruments past a sixty day instructional period.

Thankfully the deeper you get into Chronicles of Oblivion, you do find some random chunks of solid musicianship that helps to save the release a bit. “The Cattle Procession” is a much tighter track overall with a decent amount of speed and a subtle brutality to the groove-laced hooks. Tack on some pretty good drumming and it does become hard to resist getting mildly wrapped up in it. Transitions also exist here, often just being a bass drop that gets abused as the release goes on, but it does make some of the breakdowns more logical in their execution instead of just coldly placing one somewhere to fit the robotic Deathcore blueprints. “New Republic” isn’t too technical, but there is enough to keep it intriguing well past the first time through. The mid-tempo pace works with the fluid restraint the band shows for the sake of a cold, moody atmosphere by the time you hit the half way mark’s guitar solo and breakdown, the latter of which repeats again in roughly forty seconds and is a bit more on the uninspiring side thanks to how empty it sounds thanks to the simpler drum patterns.

And then there’s “The Unheard Prayers.” Of all the tracks on this release, this is one of the most matured. The opening builds up a great deal of tension against blast beats that genuinely feel like something Grindcore related before easing off on the aggression. Things do pick up at times, which includes more steady bass kicks, but there’s also plenty of moments the band teases a breakdown that never hits, only building to the next passage of catchy grooves or faster music with edgy riffs until the deliciously depressing music behind a guitar solo that is only rivalled by the short and remarkably sweet Technical Death Metal guitar assault towards the end of “The Divide”. This song single handedly saves Deep In Hate from being just another Whitechapel or Oceano, though traits of the latter do still exist towards the end. Either way, this song ends up a huge departure from “Genesis of Void,” as well as “Altar of Lies” which, to its defence, does at least start off with good intentions. You have your similar bass kicks, solid transitions and vocal range, but after another bass drop the lifeless breakdown that occurs leads you on a path of one mediocre Deathcore stereotype after another, making the last three minutes feel like six.

If the genre were to come marketed as they do types of beverages, Chronicles of Oblivion would easily fall in the Deathcore Lite category. Most of the album is your standard blueprint to success for the genre while making that fact known with the obvious formula and robotic insertion of an equally lifeless breakdown in “Genesis of Void.” But when the band makes an effort, it’s obvious they have the chops to put together something technical, aggressive, and even able to convey emotions through the music sometimes despite how sterilized and simple this release often ends up being. But does all the negativity mentioned throughout this review mean this is a bad album? Not really since, at it’s worst outside of “Altar of Lies,” the most Chronicles of Oblivion is guilty of is being unoriginal but still good enough to at least get your head bobbing along most of the time. Between standard performances, one chord passages, moderate breakdowns often pushed by the aforementioned limited range of the guitars or other instruments, and nearly every cliché known to fan, chances are you’ll find just enough to keep you satisfied. Chronicles of Oblivion has very little that makes it truly stand out in the Deathcore realm, let alone Brutal Death Metal.

01. Introduction – 0:57
02. Genesis of Void – 4:02
03. The Cattle Procession – 4:10
04. Altars of Lies – 4:14
05. New Republic – 3:54
06. The Unheard Prayers – 4:40
07. The Divide – 3:28
08. Wingless Gods – 3:35
09. Beyond – 6:57
Initial Pressing Score: 5/10

Deep in Hate
Deep in Hate

Digital review copy of this release provided by Kaotoxin Records via Clawhammer PR.