Hate Beyond – Ruthless Aggression
Label: Jackhammer Music / Rubicon Music
Date: May 2, 2018
I would have had much less trouble if they sang in Japanese. That is the first thing that comes to my mind after many listening sessions with this CD. However, things are not that bad if you can look behind the terrible English language in the lyrics.
Hate Beyond is Japanese band with quite a long career behind them, and “Ruthless Aggression” is their 5th album to date. Sixteen years of existence and five full-lengths is a notable fact here, especially when we are dealing with music so obviously created by experienced musicians. Strictly musically speaking, Hate Beyond is walking on the borderline between US styled Thrash Metal and slightly technical Death Metal. Just as an example, I can hear some newer Exodus influences in the riffing department and similar drum patterns to the Bay Area legends, especially boosted by the clear and powerful production work. Some Testament is also noteworthy. Death Metal comes in with the technicality, however, I must say these Japanese do not exaggerate on the technical level, as it is often heard with the similar bands. They know how to implement technically demanding parts in the song structure without it coming out as pure showing off their skills. Thus we get memorable songs, with just a pinch of progressive input which usually comes out in the front during the nice solo guitar work. Vocals are another thing that springs Death Metal to mind. Strong and confident growls place another layer to the ruthless aggression that comes out of the speakers during the whole 38 minutes of the album.
Really awful use of the language spoils the effect a bit. The interesting thing is that the vocals were handled by an Italian singer Moreno Grosso who did a good job on the vocals but needs a lot of work on his English skills. Same thing can be said for the guitarist Warzy who is a brilliant guitar player and composer, but the two lyrics he wrote just need a lot of lecturing.
On the other hand, we have a strong band with a lot of experience and skills. Technical, yet still very much aggressive Death / Thrash Metal perfectly depicted on the cover artwork. “Ruthless Aggression” is a very good album, and I can only hope for many more like this to come.