|Review: H.A.T.E. - Metal Forever|
Year released: 2007
Review online: September 7, 2007
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3.83/5 (76.67%) (6 Votes)
I came across H.A.T.E. (Halfway At The End) a few weeks ago while browsing thrash releases at CDBaby.com. The band originally formed in 1988, disbanded in 1992 and recently got back together, and "Metal Forever" is their first full length.
This is heavy/thrash very much in the vein of early Metal Church (say, the first three albums.) It is more of a stylistic similarity than actually sounding like Metal Church, so no need for the paranoids among you to start screaming "ripoffs!", alright? ;) The vocalist is like a non-nasal version of David Wayne, sharing a pretty similar style. He is definitely one of the highlights of the album, boasting very clean vocals, both powerful and melodic and his performance is nearly perfect. There's usually something that'll annoy me with the vocals over the span of an album, but this is one of those rare times when there weren't a few seconds when I didn't want to strangle the vocalist. Quite a feat considering the album is just over 64 minutes in length.
The guitars are all over the place, mixing such styles as mid-80s Metallica and Metal Church, and early 80s NWOBHM à la Iron Maiden and Saxon. The drums sound a bit muffled at times, but not to the point of affecting the listening experience. "Metal Forever" sounds old school with a modern production, and the songwriting style is parachuted directly from the 80s (my guess is that at least some of this material was written back then.) The album might be lengthy, but fear not, none of the songs here are filler garbage - although I must note that a few songs end with a few seconds of silence, don't know what's up with that, but you faithful readers know how much that gets on my nerves. ;) There's a lot of variety on display on the 14 songs presented here, from "semi-ballads" all the way to take-no-prisoners thrash attacks. Highly recommended.
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