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Handful Of Hate - Gruesome Splendour review


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Band: Handful Of Hate
Album: Gruesome Splendour
Release date: November 2006

01. Livid
02. Theory Of Perfection
03. Used To Discipline
04. Tied, Whipped... Educated
05. Grotesque In Pleasure, Rotten In Vice
06. Reproach And Blame
07. Spawn Of Decadence
08. Whiplaw
09. Ejaculation Dementiae

Handful Of Hate have not changed much since their previous release, ViceCrown: they are still a brutal black metal act, with a few death oriented riffing here and there and a more sophisticated taste than average black metal bands for song micro-structures.

Like a true metal act they fill up each song with tons of riffs, drumming fills, quick changes of time (ok, usually from fast to hyper fast and back, but they are still changes!), while the attitude is fully on the black flame side of it.

If this is the first contact with the band, prepare to get a full frontal assault that starts since the very beginning of the record, with the very good song 'Livid', and lasts until the end of the record (well 'Ejaculation Dementiae' is more a noisy outro than a song), with only few moments of 'peace'.

If you already heard ViceCrown, you exactly know what to expect from this record, but with a way better production that takes Gruesome Splendour on another level.

Technically speaking the band is highly skilled and talented, and they often show this in the record, but always letting the listener focus on the song overall sound rather than on barren individualisms.

The main difference since the previous work is also the main improvement of Gruesome Splendor over ViceCrown: there are no mid-tempo or slow based songs (that are the weak part of ViceCrown, in my opinion). Indeed slower parts are disassembled and spread all around the record, giving to each song a more sophisticated structure that puts Handful Of Hate among the best non-symphonic black metal acts, together with Taake, Keep Of Kalessin and a very few others.

Along with the already mentioned Livid, my favorite songs are 'Tied Whipped Educated', 'Used To Discipline' and, last but not least 'Theory of Perfection' that is just a bit slower than the other songs, with an amazing breakdown built upon a very nice guitar work.
I have to notice that Gruesome Splendour gives its best in the beginning, leaving some good but a bit less inspired songs to the end of the record.

Gruesome Splendour is a short but intense record, of less than 36 minutes of total aggression. although it has some highlights and some (few) flaws, the overall quality of songs is impressive.

If you like aggressive black metal, don't miss it, check it out now!

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 6
Production: 8

Written by pdepmcp | 26.09.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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