Sometimes you have a rough week where not a hell of a lot can cheer you up or get your gears turning. In all cases, I turn to music as a balm for the dark days. I open up the promotional package from Hath, a New Jersey-based blackened death metal band. Of Rot and Ruin proves to be quite a decent working.
The musicians are Frank Albanese (guitar/vocals), Greg Nottis (bass/vocals), Peter Brown (guitar) and AJ Viana (drums). Of Rot and Ruin was recorded in AJ’s recently built studio and ,as with any record produced in a musician’s own studio, attention to detail is a prime focus.
With “Usurpation,” the music crashes upon the listener in a cacophony of noise. Over the course of the album, tracks like “To Atone” and “Kindling” provides the fetid malevolence one expects from the genre with undercurrents of monolithic energy. There is an flow of deep cavernous low-ends built up by the heavy death metal riffs and crushing drums, all mixing quite beautifully with a melodic tinge to the guitars to weave through the onslaught. There is a dark and pulsating feel to these tracks that are both atmospheric and neck-snapping.
The only unfortunate thing is there is nothing out of this world or original with these tracks, and, sadly, the album feels redundant and largely recycled. Perhaps a little more variety in pacing or tempo could soothe any rough edges. As it stands, Hath‘s Of Rot and Ruin’s end is ferocious, yet ultimately familiar.
Of Rot and Ruin is out now on Willowtip Records. Buy it here!