Artist: Chamber of Malice
Imagine being locked in a room with your worst fears and most horrifying nightmares. Everything that has ever invoked even the slightest sense of despair or whispered the slightest murmur of malevolence in your ears surrounds you. Try as you might, you can’t defend yourself—it’s all you can do to come to terms with the agony that stares you in the eye, let alone try and fight back. Piece by piece they pull you apart; not just your body, but your mind as well. If you can fathom this—or even the concept of it happening—then you have an idea of what awaits you within the dense, deadly annals of the latest and greatest EP from Hof heavyweights, Chamber of Malice. ZeroTwentyEightHate is nothing but raunchy, lurid heaviness from beginning to end—with slams so beefy that they make Ingested look anorexic, and breakdowns slow enough to make Traitors look like The Flash, Chamber of Malice are the very definition of misanthropic and the overlords of chugged-out, blast-beat ridden slaughter. In a word, they are lethal, and they know it.
At this point, you’re probably weary—suspicious of another band whose gimmick is raw, over-the-top heaviness. However, I am here to cast your suspicions aside, and lay your concern to rest: Chamber of Malice are far from just another generic “heavy” offering. ZeroTwentyEightHate is capable of shredding the listener like a woodchipper one second, only to slowly tear them limb-from-limb with draw-and-quarter style breakdowns that practically redefine the word brutal. Percussionist Tobias Messerschmidt is instrumental in this—as his drumming sets the tempo and mood for whatever medium Chamber of Malice choose to inflict mass-scale annihilation upon the listener. Even the brief-but-brutalizing “Intro” showcases Messerschmidt’s prowess, rattling off machine-gun blast beats one second, only to crush the listener like a steamroller driving through wet tar the next. “Stonecold” is another offering off of ZeroTwentyEightHate that demonstrates Messerschmidt’s percussive prowess—however, more importantly; it highlights Messerschmidt’s ability to interplay with the grooves and grotesquely heavy tone of bassist Daniel Drechsel. Drechsel’s tone is simply immaculate—easily one of the best bass tones on a heavy deathcore release since Gouge’s Kicked Teeth Asphyxiation or The Faceless’ Akeldama. The climactic breakdown (even though there could easy be three or four climactic breakdowns) in “Stonecold,” as well as the introduction to “Discontent” display this interplay at it’s finest—with Drechsel’s deep, writhing bass tone pairing perfectly with Messerschmidt’s thick, meaty kick drum, and drawing a bright contrast against his sharp, tinny snare. Atop Drechsel and Messerschmidt’s dynamic rests the furious, purely murderous fretwork of guitarist Maximillian Kornhaas. If there were competitions for the world’s heaviest, raunchiest, most balls-to-the-wall gutwrenching guitar tone, Kornhaas would be the world heavyweight champion. Every track on ZeroTwentyEightHate is Kornhaas going absolutely ballistic, breaking every bone in the listener’s body with breakdowns, slams and needling tremolo-picked riffs that hit harder than the last, to the point that by the time “Stonecold” rolls around, the listener is nothing but dust.
Chamber of Malice’s layer cake of lurid, lawless heaviness doesn’t end after an analysis of their instrumental elements, however. Even as Kornhaas is piling chug after chug of lower-than-hell guitar work over Drechsel and Messerschmidt’s immense foundation, vocalist Christoph Hofer refuses to relent. “Non-Profit Society,” or the lead single “028 Hate” are great examples of this—hell, even the brief introduction to ZeroTwentyEightHate is. Hofer provides a masterful array of painfully visceral vocal styles to fit each instance of the band’s instrumental onslaught. Where Chamber of Malice are fast, striking the listener with superficial, fleeting blows, Hofer lets loose with hair-raising shrill screams. However, a great majority of the time, Hofer accompanies the band’s low, slow instrumental efforts with growls, gurgles and guttural bellows that sound akin to Satan’s farts. Guest vocal appearances throughout the EP (“Non-Profit Society” features the vocalists of Brawl Between Enemies, while “Discontent” features the vocalist of No Zodiac) help add to Chamber of Malice’s diversity, giving “Non-Profit Society” a beatdown-tinted hardcore vibe, while “Discontent” is just meatier and more intense than the listener can take.
In fact, that’s probably the take away message when it comes to Chamber of Malice. The last time I encountered a deathcore project that was almost too heavy for me was when I discovered deathcore in the first place. ZeroTwentyEightHate invokes that same intense fascination and addiction to the unbelievably brutal—a figurative shiny new toy syndrome as it applies to music. From the first snare crack in “Intro,” to the last dissonant hum of “Stonecold,” ZeroTwentyEightHate is the soundtrack to a slaughterhouse: meaty and murderous. Fortunately for the listener, Chamber of Malice are far from one-dimensional with their onslaught—they don’t just do breakdowns—rather, they include Ingested-esque slams and tech-death influenced blast beats accompanied by tedious, intense riffs to play to the ears of fans of more technical music. Not only is ZeroTwentyEightHate a heavy album for fans of brutal, chug-laden music, but it will find a place in the music players and CD collections of fans of all sorts of metallic, extreme and otherwise heavy jams.
Chamber of Malice’s ZeroTwentyEightHate is all of your worst fears and nightmares come to life—in the best way possible. What more is there to say that hasn’t been said? Heavy, fun and sinful from beginning to end, ZeroTwentyEightHate is a deathcore album you will absolutely love.
For Fans Of: Ingested, Black Tongue, Traitors, Signal the Firing Squad, Tomb of Doom, Gouge
By: Connor Welsh