HateSphere - _Ballet of the Brute_
(Century Media, 2004)
by: Aaron McKay (8.5 out of 10)
These five Danes have tapped into their darker side. Coming off 2002's more straightforward _Bloodred Hatred_, _Ballet of the Brute_ underscores a thicker, more down-tuned orientation throughout the album's forty-five minutes. Heavy (and I do mean heavy) riffing ignite this highly volatile creation. Producer Tommy Hansen's penchant for power metal seems to have added a unique element to HateSphere's approach. Speaking of approach, guitarists Peter Lyse Hansen and new bandmate Henrik Ehlert play off of each other's ability on this effort like Holt and Hunolt of Exodus. Really pretty amazing. Mikael Ehlert's convincingly fortified bass lines anchor the album like nothing witnessed on either _Bloodred Hatred_ or _HateSphere_. This could be some of the reason for the shadowy texture so noticeable on this offering. Be that was it may, Ander Gylanohr marks the second line-up addition. Ander's drumming skill busts forth and refuses to hibernate behind all the metal mayhem set down on HateSphere's latest full-length. Again, Jacob's vocals are enough to rattle the filling from your teeth. Jacob's lyrical attack and throaty style changes will have your head swimming like an ether induced coma.

At times the condition of rather ordinary soloing permeates a song. For example, the short-lived and uninspired guitar feature on "Vermin" falls fairly short of the mark set so high by the rest of the track's otherwise thrash-tastic outpouring. In the case of that song, favoring the more thrash inspired solo would have been preferable to showcasing the hardcore lead HateSphere selected to accentuate. To offset that critique, admittedly the solo mid-way through "What I See I Despise" is a fine exhibition of this band's lead guitar playing ability. Not to mention concluding "What I See I Despise" with some of the chunkiest riffs on the album doesn't hurt a band's score either -- not by a long shot. Hooks and chops on _Ballet of the Brute_ fly like a beer bottles at bar brawl. As mentioned earlier, the calculatedly dim nuance works well for these lads from the very beginning intro to the couple of unlisted tracks at the end of the disc. HateSphere doing a little "Bark at the Moon" and "Caught in the Mosh" -- that's well worth the price of admission there, ladies and gentlemen.

Contact: http://www.hatesphere.com

(article published 11/8/2004)

11/20/2000 P Azevedo Mayhem / Anathema / Hatesphere / Bronco Busters Judgement Night
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