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Review: Armoured Angel - Hymns of Hate
Armoured Angel
Hymns of Hate

Label: Abysmal Sounds
Year released: 2012
Duration: 84:54
Tracks: 22
Genre: Death/Thrash

Rating: 5/5

Review online: January 10, 2013
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating
Hymns of Hate

Rated 4.45/5 (89.09%) (11 Votes)

Now here's an essential release for fans of the Australian underground scene, especially Speed/Thrash/Death Metal legends Armoured Angel. Hymns of Hate gathers together a wide selection of Armoured Angel's sought after and rare past releases including two EPs (1992's Stigmartyr and 1994's Mysterium) and thre demos (1989's Wings of Death, 1990's Communion and the demo from 1995). Thanks to Australia's Abysmal Sounds for helping people get their hands on rare material from one of the most mysterious yet celebrated Australian Metal hordes.

The band's EPs, Stigmartyr and Mysterium, represent Armoured Angel at their best, in my opinion; heavy, head-stomping Thrash Metal with slight Death Metal overtones is what these two EPs are all about, musically. They possess menacing atmospheres, great passion and are highly original. Disc 1 of this brilliant collection features these remastered EPs.

Disc 2 concentrates on the early days of these legendary Aussie metallers, gearing up to spread their raw mixture of Thrash, Speed and Heavy Metal to the masses. Even on their 1989 Wings of Death demo, the band sounded extremely tight, reminding me of Ohio's Destructor here and there. There's so much power behind their Thrash Metal approach. "Christian Slaughter" is the absolute highlight track, with its mid-paced and hypnotic tempo and heavy, repetitive riff.

The 4-track Communion demo, released in 1990, is also good, possessing the trademark Armoured Angel heaviness. On this particular demo, Armoured Angel added a remarkable amount of speed into their songs without sacrificing any of the heaviness. "Tergiversator" is the kind of song that I would underline as truly ass-kicking, for my liking, at least.

Last, but not least, we get the band's unreleased 4-track 1995 promo-demo, which has been both remixed and remastered. The fours songs on this demo are said to be from the recording sessions of Armoured Angel's never completed, debut full-length album. The first song, "Thy Blood Eterne," is more experimental and eerier than anything they had recorded, up to that point, while the next song, "Gulka," is undoubtedly the fastest and most aggressive number in the whole recording history of the band; fast as a Great White on a killing spree.

Do yourself a favor and get this double disc set. It's worth every cent. Why, you may ask? Because Hymns of Hate is unreservedly an essential piece of Australian underground Metal history, that's why.

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