Hath was a new discovery for me this year. I hadn’t had the pleasure of listening to their EP Hive and debut LP Of Rot and Ruin prior to this deep dive, but upon going back and digging after some seriously impressive singles, All That Was Promised shows some serious growth for the blackened death metal outfit.
While labeled blackened death, this album carries with it more progressive elements to deliver a full experience that is heavy and extremely savage when it needs to be, and more harmonious when it calls for it. The haunting opening of "The Million Violations" set a somber tone that grows progressively more violent throughout the album.
"Kenosis" delivers complete savagery, rife with blast beats and "bottom-of-the-pit" gutturals over cutting riffs, but with enough melody to enrobe the listener. The melody throughout this track only adds to the outright brutality by being completely sinister. The opening chants of "Lithopaedic" offer just a slight respite before the onslaught continues in a complex, groovy, and intensely evil way.
"Iosis" and "Decollation" are absolute master classes in precision drumming. "Decollation" in particular really sees Hath leaning into their blackened undertones, bludgeoning the listener with a mix of ferocious blasts and nearly feral tremolo picking.
Another moment of haunting savagery is "Death Complex". Completely unrelenting, this track makes excellent use of atmosphere which is continued on "Casting the Self". Title track, "All That Was Promised" gives us almost 2 minutes of relief before coming back for more savagery. "Name Them Yet Build No Monuments" has almost the exact opposite structure, ending on a crushingly devastating note.
Overall, the emotional range of this album is one of brutality and savagery, but also pain and despair. It is an unrelenting piece of work that will leave your soul raw from start to finish. Not lost in the never ending cycle of "who can be more brutal" that can sometimes stagnate this genre, Hath have delivered something that is brutal on a different level. It's not all about the blast beats and insane riffs, but their measured and calculated use of melody and atmosphere really highlight that they can make you FEEL more so than just beating you over the head.
As Hath continue to grow and progress, I can only imagine their work becoming more emotionally devastating and therefore more fulfilling than your average blackened death. This is a start to finish experience that will leave you wanting more.