HateSphere have been toiling around the thrash/death metal circuit for a few years now, and their latest platter of technical & heavy brutality, Ballet of the Brute is a churning maelstrom of rampaging guitar riffs, thunderous grooves, and angry vocals. While at first listen, these Danish metal monsters might seem like just another thrash band, after a few listens to this CD, it becomes apparent that a great deal of melody and impressive musicality lies beneath the surface.
After you get by relentless stuff like "Downward to Nothing" and "Deathtrip", there are some pretty good "crunch 'n' roll" tunes here, like the plodding stomp of "Only the Strongest", the catchy "Vermin", or the neat instrumental "The Beginning and the End." The dual guitars of Peter Lyse Hansen and Henrik Jacobsen are thick and meaty, and there are plenty of quick dual harmony leads. The vocals of Jacob Bredahl are fairly easy to take, as he never goes full-on death growl (although he comes close on occasion) but is always in scream mode, much like some of the best hardcore or thrash vocalists. Check out his compelling wailing on "Last Cut, Last Head", one of the CD's best tracks, a non-stop mosh pit boiler, complete with numerous time changes and intricate passages that would make fans of Exodus and Testament proud. Along the same lines is the technical crusher "500 Dead People", featuring great guitar work, keyboards, and sledgehammer rhythms. The CD is produced by Tommy Hansen, who as always does a fine job.
Ballet of the Brute is an impressive third release from HateSphere, and a CD that will surely find its way into CD players normally occupied by the latest releases from bands like Slayer, Entombed, Dark Tranquility, Arch Enemy, and God Forbid.
1) The Beginning and the End (1:58)
2) Deathtrip (1:54)
3) Vermin (4:40)
4) Downward to Nothing (2:59)
5) Only the Strongest... (3:54)
6) What I See I Despise (5:13)
7) Last Cut, Last Head (4:20)
8) Warhead (3:57)
9) Blankeyed (2:33)
10) 500 Dead People (5:13)