Artist: God’s Hate
Album: Mass Murder
While there are a number of peaceful, subtle ways to effect change on a large political scale, few of them are effective. Many fail to draw enough attention and energy to their side—ultimately unable to engage the public and rally enough in the way of tangible power. One tool, however, has topples governments big and small—and has rearranged the dynamic of our planet countless times: total warfare, or, as God’s Hate might call it—Mass Murder. Powered by a prominent political message and supported by relentless musicianship and frill-free brutality, Mass Murder is the monstrously aggressive series of hardcore anthems the listener might expect based on the name. Drawing influences from all across the heavy music spectrum, God’s Hate are prepared to unleash hell with their debut full-length album—a release that sees them setting fire to the masses, urging them to get busy rebelling or get busy dying.
Instrumentally, Mass Murder finds itself at a packed crossroads of thrash metal, death metal, hardcore and slam. God’s Hate’s debut release is built on a dynamic-but-solid foundation of percussion courtesy of drummer Cayle Sain. Sain’s work behind the kit sets the tone for Mass Murder’s diverse soundscape—with opening number “Extermination” relying on a crossover between thrash metal and hardcore—while “Unsound Fury” sees Sain’s feet flying at what feels like thousands of beats per minute, emulating a slam-tinted death metal act. Finally, tracks like the closing number, “Benevolent Submission” see Sain at his most calm and collected, harmonizing with Anthonie Gonzalez to create a dense, dark—yet atmospheric—backdrop for guitarists Colin Young and Leo Orozco. Gonzalez’s bass work is a hefty firmament that serves to link Sain’s enrgetic percussion with Young and Orozco’s fretwork—where “Extermination” sees that dynamic consisting primarily of Chug-driven breakdowns and slams, “Mass Murder” sees the duo combining more melodic, metallic styles with their ten-ton fight riffs and skin-shredding solos. Musically, Young and Orozco ensure that God’s Hate almost entirely avoids monotony—with only small snippets of some of Mass Murder’s opening numbers sounding slightly repetitive.
Where God’s Hate have their bases covered when it comes to intense musicianship, the band gain their politically charged message from the lyrics and vocals of frontman Nate Blauvelt. Blauvelt may not take home any awards for best or most diverse vocalist—his range is limited and his style takes some getting used to—he does bring a unique sound to God’s Hate that few other bands possess. “Mass Murder” is perhaps the best display of that: while the title track begins with a dramatic riff, bouncy and headbang-friendly drum pattern and Blauvelt’s grisly mid-range shout, the chorus sees God’s Hate use a gruff style of singing that seems ripped right out of a 90’s Thrash band’s playbook. Because of sections like these—or Blauvelt’s range oscillations throughout “Crown of Power” and “Father Inferior,” he is never completely predictable—keeping the listener constantly entertained with his intelligible vocal style and lyrics that preach social unrest and distrust of a corrupted political system.
If one were to try and summarize Mass Murder, the best way to do it would be to describe it as an album that is universally heavy. God’s Hate being brutality that modern day hardcore kids can spinkick to, while still assaulting the listener with riffs that will make metal dads (and dads in general) headbang and throw up horns. With catchier tracks like “Mass Murder” and “Father Inferior” sharply contrasting spine-shredding songs like “Crown of Power” and “Unsound Fury,” the only hint of monotony that casts a shade on God’s Fury is Blauvelt’s bold—but occasionally bland—vocal style. However, with bone-buckling breakdowns and skull-splintering slams to fill spots between hyperaggressive riffs and skin-peeling solos, there’s a good chance the listener will be too busy committing mass murder to notice the band’s minor missteps.
For Fans Of: Left Behind, Orthodox, Lowered A.D., xRepentancex
By: Connor Welsh