Aiming to break the rules (if there are any) of death metal while honouring its origins, Hideous Divinity have set themselves a monstrous task.
In the words of guitarist Enrico Schettino, “We felt we had to become something more than ‘that cool technical death metal combo from Italy'”, and now, on their fourth album, ‘Simulacrum’, we see if they’ll reap the rewards of their efforts.
Thundering in on a riotous collision of pounding drums and riling riffs, ‘Deleuzian Centuries’ frenetically bounces off the walls of death, thrash, and doom metal, making a balls to the wall entrance that will shock any light-hearted soul.
Preluded by the ominous croaks and hums in ‘Condense’, ‘Anamorphia Atto III’ cracks with black metal dissonance and chaotic riffs from Schettino and Giovanni Tomassucci that verge on the inaudible, but retain enough of an understandable edge to build an atmosphere of macabre destruction.
Twisting through vortices, ‘Prey To A Vision’ introduces hardcore mentality, with sections of stop-start rhythms and chants of lyrics that combine Enrico Di Lorenzo‘s visceral screams and guttural roars that adds an extra dimension to the turbulent mixture of genres on display.
Drudging the pavement, ‘Implemini Exitio’ echoes with distant guitar strings and synths that relay into a build up of distorted riffs before spiralling in intermittent interchanges of sludge and grindcore that are expertly handled by drummer Giulio Galati, who rattles and rolls precisely through blast beats and gatling gun kick pedals.
The standout track, however, comes in a cover of ‘Blood Of The Zodiac’ by Machine Head, which takes the death metal and launches it to its most tyrannical, with a relentless assault of hastened riffs and diabolical roars that are tempered with brief breaks that only up the ante as they climax in even greater animosity.
There’s so much going that there aren’t enough words to describe the onslaught in ‘Simulacrum’ as it swiftly delves into different genres that it takes multiple listens to get around the complexity of it. Once an understanding is gained, it becomes giant ball of frantic death metal that refuses to compromise or sit still long enough to finish its Weetabix, and it needs it.