Artist: Hate Diplomacy
I remember when I was first getting into the more extreme sub genres of heavy music—somewhere in the throes of 9th grade, lost in the transition from rap to punk and from punk to hardcore and metalcore. Somewhere in a haze of A Skylit Drive and I See Stars, when the heaviest record I knew was Suicide Silence’s first EP, I found Waking the Cadaver.
I’ll be honest—I wasn’t a fan, at least not at first. But I wanted to be. Somewhere in the grisly, absurd displays of instrumental intensity and vocal onslaughts I found a seed of interest in brutal death metal and deathcore’s heavier, slammier older brother—a seed that was planted but took some time to take shape.
The story follows a predictable route—within a year of torrenting or buying anything I could sink my ears in to and going to as many shows as I could, I was at least at a level where my once-nubile ears could handle artists like Waking the Cadaver—however it wasn’t too long after that when the band called it a day. Fortunately for me, and for all of heavy music, the voice that defined the band for many was far from done. Enter Hate Diplomacy, a slam-infused beatdown (or is it beatdown infused slam?) act with a penchant for pure aggression. A little more straightforward than frontman Don Campan’s previous act but every bit as ruthless, Hate Diplomacy emerge with their debut full-length offering, Rant. Political at points and just straight pissed off at others, Rant lives up to its name where belligerence is concerned, beating the living Hell out of the listener without relent or remorse.
Every second of Rant finds itself somewhere in the most absurd extremes of the heavy music spectrum. Boldly combining slamming elements with beatdown and a dusting of gritty, raw deathcore, Hate Diplomacy lash out as a collective, hellbent on inciting the purest form of violence. Rant is built on a display of deadly drumming provided by Chris Kulak, the outfit’s percussion is nothing short of pure power. With “Believe in Yourself” and “Concrete Arteries” spearheading the band’s faster side and the raunchy “Human Animals” and “Fed Up” highlighting the sluggish and brutalizing portions, Kulek’s creative and intense percussion crushes in every way needed. Meanwhile, bassist Anthony Cossu (of Dehumanized) reigns with a ruthless low end that slaps the listener silly from the first track and absolutely refuses to stop. “Human Animals,” the album’s flagbearer for furious aggression sees Cossu providing heaviness aplenty. Meanwhile, “Programmed Perception” and “Gastrointestinal Torment” ate faster paced and more metallic cuts where Cossu works intimately with guitarist Dimas Mendez. Mendez may as well be a murdering psychopath behind his fretboard, because when he isn’t bludgeoning the listener to death with breakdowns and slams, his sharp riffs smoothly slice flesh from bone. To an extent, Rant’s entire length sees Mendez keeping a strong balance between relentless riffing and ravenous, slamming aggression—which means each track sees Mendez, and all of Hate Diplomacy doing something a little different to keep things fresh.
As it may have been hinted at earlier, the big-Name draw for Hate Diplomacy is found in the group’s legendary frontman, Don Campan. Campan’s voice runs the gamut, hitting squelching, gurgling lows on “Human Animals” while relying predominantly on a raw, throaty yell and intense gutturals throughout “Gastrointestinal Torment” and others. Rant is a display of his continued diversity and vocal prowess, and really, not much more need be said. While “Human Animals” is the closest the listener gets to a consistent Waking the Cadaver-esque Campan, much of Hate Diplomacy’s debut full-length record sees him blending with the beatdown-infused instrumentation, giving a raw, tough and gritty coating to the entire release, allowing it to hit hard while still being catchy and easy to belt along (most of the) lyrics to.
Rant is as persistent and unceasing as its name might imply—and the band’s sound lives up to the viciousness implied in their name. Hate Diplomacy are devastatingly heavy and stop at nothing to make that abundantly clear, blending riffs, slams, breakdowns and fleet-footed two-steps all into an aural onslaught. Where it’s a little rough around the edges, it is tastefully so, keeping its appeal to all but the most virginal of heavy music enthusiasts. If you’re searching for raw and unhinged aggression, Hate Diplomacy have just the rant you need to hear.
For Fans Of: Flesh Tomb, Sectioned UK, Chamber of Malice, Waking the Cadaver
By: Connor Welsh