Hey there tech fiends, it's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's focus, here's the usual reminder that if you're looking for more sick music, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
I first heard about Quebec natives Hatalom from vocalist JP Beaulieu who hit me up in January with their first song figuring I might dig it since I had previously covered his other tech-death band Vitiated here in this column back in 2015. Quite recently Hatalom finally dropped their sharply crafted and pummeling debut EP, Of Sorrow And Human Dust.
There’s a lot to enjoy within this dense six-song offering, but my favorite part about the music here is the bands well thought out approach to intertwining brutal and progressive focused strains of technical death metal together in a litany of different ways. It makes for a best of both world’s approach, whether you prefer pure steamrolling annihilation, or earth-shaking heaviness that induce involuntary headbanging, or the cerebral aura of tech shred euphoria, Of Sorrow And Human Dust has you covered.
The release kicks off with a swift instrumental number called “Under Vitiated Skies” which, far from being a stock throwaway intro, sets the stage for all the musical ground they cover, ranging from it's soft and prog-tinged opening to a frenetic and razor-sharp brutality loaded latter passages. So by the time that “Artificial Suffering” kicks in soon after and rains down hellfire and massive waves of heaviness, you’re already primed and ready for the high-octane and diverse musical approach Hatalom employs.
Each track on Of Sorrow And Human Dust impresses with something different to offer until it ends on it’s highest note with“La Beauté Réside dans le Silence des Hommes”. The intricate maze-like songs that make up the release usually fall at or close to the three-minute minute mark overall, making for concise yet jam-packed cuts that are prime tech-death free of filler. The EP is bookended by it’s longest and most mem0rable cuts, "Through the Eyes of Perception" and "La Beauté Réside dans le Silence des Hommes”. Both tracks show Hataolm stretching their wings so to speak, using a longer run time to conjure up ever more multi-faceted, and adventurous music equally driven by a maddening feeling of swarming chaos that reminds me of Beneath The Massacre in parts of each of the last two songs most hellacious and demented points.
Musically, this release reminds me most of Origin and Archspire, aided by groove laden Soreption and Psycroptic influenced elements, spruced up with Beyond Creation and Decrepit Birth’s proggy and ethereal flair and lead styles, and enhanced with just the right amount of modern melodic death metal riffing and melody a la The Black Dahlia Murder. What band’s like Hatalom do well is re-combine from a wide swath of different kinds of tech-death and death metal in order to form a synthesis that, at least from a writing standpoint, is all their own.
To put it simply, Of Sorrow And Human Dust is a damn fun experience and shows a relatively new band operating on a higher level than a good 80% of new groups I hear in the genre. You owe it to yourself to hit play on Of Sorrow And Human Dust below, and if you’re into it, you can order it through Bandcamp. Be sure to follow the group over on the Hatalom Facebook Page.