The Sickness Within
posted on 7/2006 By:
Thrash. Tasty. Two giant scoops, please? Now, as a child of the first thrash generation, my particular taste in the genre is a bit tight. Tons of Swedish metalcore twin-melodies don’t fly with me after 30 seconds or so, and Slayer wannabees need to aim higher in this day and age. Why don’t we hear more songs based on the riff anymore? So many cool riffs are abandoned for segue filler towards a bad vocal that shouldn’t have been so highlighted, what happened to the flow of the songwriting? Give me something steady to fucking bang to, man!!! Luckily for me, and possibly you, we share a world with a band named Hatesphere, and what a valued commodity they are.
These guys get it, and not only do they get it, they’re fucking good at it. You can keep the new All That Remains album, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it because it is pretty good. I need something a little more riff-oriented & basic every now and again just to keep everything centered and grounded. The Sickness Within is a moderately fast, riff-based album, the rhythms are front and center at all times which is something metal desperately needs to re-establish on a wider basis, and isn’t over-saturated with too much quirky melody. Hatesphere really know when to rip into a specific pattern and ride it for all it’s worth, alternating triplets and stiff gallops with gruff, burly harmonies, seriously catchy mid-paced groove, and tons of personality. A strong Exodus influence (I’m thinking Fabulous Disaster & Impact Is Imminent) is easily apparent, with the barest bit of Pantera and late 80’s hardcore here and there, but nothing sounds too contrived or dated, and the production, especially the guitar tone, is superb and modern-sounding without being too glossy.
But I hate to admit, The Sickness Within probably won’t be considered a classic, or even an exceptional album. While executed with great precision and lots of attitude, when the band makes a misstep, it’s not something that can be covered up. When Jacob attempts to throw in some melody among his more hardcore-based vocals, the contrast sounds a little shaky. Granted, this opens the band up to expanding on more accessible material in the future if they wanted to, but hopefully they’ll keep it heavy instead of KSE’ing all over everything to appeal to a wider audience. Here’s to hoping. There's also a little 'same-song syndrome' with a few of the faster tunes, and a little more variation could have made this an even better album than it already is overall.
There’s not much originality here, but there is a hell of a lot to bang along to. Metal like this defies critique because you can tell Hatesphere don’t want to impress anyone, they’re not in friendly competition with their peers for critical acclaim, and couldn’t care less about being fashionable. All they care about is writing solid thrash metal songs that stand on their own, even if they’re not entirely standout. The bottom line is The Sickness Within is an air guitarist’s wet dream to scratch an itch between Exodus & Slayer albums, and even though you might not get knocked on your ass every time you spin it, Hatesphere have provided us with an excellent ‘go to’ album to pull out during times of listening indecision, which is something we all should be able to appreciate. Tracks like “The White Fever”, “Sickness Within”, “Heaven Is Ready To Fall”, and “Marked By Darkness” will tide over anyone needing a fix for something crunchy and somewhat memorable, and if you liked the last Dew Scented & Exodus albums, and are tired waiting for the new Slayer, you’d most likely enjoy this disc quite a bit. Recommended.
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