REVIEW: Hour of Penance – Misotheism

 

Artist: Hour of Penance

Album: Misotheism

Rating: 9.5/10

 

“Misotheism” is described as the hatred of God or the gods; within the polytheistic religions, ceasing worship of the gods was deemed as a form of punishment to them. This ties into many religions and the idea of belief, that being if many people believe in something enough, it increases their power. If people begin to no longer believe or continue to grant offers, their power begins to diminish. This was seen in Medieval times with families leaving coin and riches at the graves of their loved ones to bring with them to the realm of death. The more popular they were, the more riches they had, but those who had no family were doomed with no blessing in death. This idea revolves around Hour of Penance’s newest release, giving vibes of saturated despair that veer from what their previous releases have to offer.

With Hour of Penance, they’re known for fantastic and punishing technical death metal. The instrumentation was always up to par with what was popular and the band kept everything interesting. The lyrical themes have always touched on the ideas of empirical living and armies facing in the ancient times, and Misotheism is no exception to this. Crawling with archaic lyrical content, invoking ideas of alchemy and spires befallen, Misotheism is still groveling with artistic lyrical themes. The instrumentation is much more mature than previous releases; the band worked with Hertz Studio who is renowned for working with bands such as Behemoth and Vadar. This brings in the blackened vibes that will shock old listeners and welcome a new wave of fans.

There is plenty of technical goodness for the old fans. Songs such as “Flames of Merciless Gods” still tingle the spine with machine-gun blasts and a cacophony of ripping stringed instrumentation. Those looking for even less blackened-tech aspects will search no further than “Dura ex Sed Lex,” a song meant purely for the enjoyment of stunning technical beasthood contained within a four-minute track. Newer fans looking for the most blackened influence, look no further than songs such as “Occult Den of Snakes.” This proprietary title claims malediction, emphasizing the jaw-gnawing creeping of the atmosphere. It’s one of the band’s slower songs, but still envelopes what the band is shifting toward. Another song that delivers the blackened atmosphere is “Fallen From Ivory Towers.” While it still hits like a 90mph car crash, the overall tension that is displayed through the band’s technicality creates this ambient feeling of sinister ambiguity.

Overall, Hour of Penance have created one of their best records to date. Shifting from their two most recent albums, they’ve matured as musicians over the past few years and are going to gain many new fans. As they branch out their genre incorporation, old fans will find all the reasons they’ve loved them since their debut and new fans will understand why this band is so fantastic. Misotheism is the best production Hour of Penance has ever had, everything is crisp and clear, the distinction between every instrument is enthralling to the listener.

 

FFO: Obscura, Behemoth, Murder Made God