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Review: Hath - All That Was Promised
All That Was Promised

Label: Willowtip Records
Year released: 2022
Duration: 51:36
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black/Death


Review online: December 3, 2022
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (6 Votes)

Hath have quietly gone about being New Jersey's best kept secret for years now, churning out a murky yet technical brand of Black/Death on their debut EP Hive and greatly expanding on it in terms of complexity and mood with their debut full-length Of Rot and Ruin. Their latest, All That Was Promised, saw no change in that trajectory as it turned heads in the underground earlier this year. As something of a newcomer, I wasn't sure what to expect when I first heard this, and in fact I mildly dismissed it as solid but overhyped on my first listen. However, something kept nagging at me to go give it at least another listen, and now a few weeks and dozens of spins later, I am confident in saying that the hype is all justified.

Earlier in their careers, Hath were fairly comparable to similarly technical and brutal bands like Sulphur Aeon and maybe Slugdge if they weren't unbearable, but now they sound less like their influences and more like themselves. That doesn't mean there's any change in their direction or sound, merely that they have refined their grim and complex mixture of black metal dissonance and mood with old school death metal aggression and heaviness to create a sound that's difficult to compare to anyone else. Despite the density of their work, they aren't very flashy players, and when mixed with a spacious yet cavernous production and tracks that seamlessly meld into one another, it can easily lead you to believe their approach has become samey and featureless when it is really anything but. Given time, though, the nuances of songs like the pummeling "Lithopaedic" and the haunting title track show a band that has all but mastered their craft, casually turning from blinding fury to melancholic, often beautiful melodic sections that make for an album that is a complete and coherent work rather than just a collection of songs stapled together.

Technically minded bands that incorporate heavy amounts of dissonance into their sound has been an ongoing trend for some time now, but while many end up creating muddled, indistinct messes of music, Hath have sharpened it all into something fierce, chaotic, and often gorgeous with this album. One of the year's best.

More about Hath...
Review: Hive (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Of Rot and Ruin (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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