While not as prominent in the world of metal as the other Scandinavian countries, Denmark has nevertheless produced some pretty outstanding artists like Mercyful Fate, Artillery, Invocator, Anubis Gate and Volbeat. The death-thrashers in Hatesphere are among the more prominent bands on the Danish metal scene and, productive as they are, they are about to unleash their seventh wonder The Great Bludgeoning upon the world.
The album strikes me as being a very solid effort and rich in crushing riffage, but I would not really consider it groundbreaking. Hatesphere has a fairly modern sound and draw on modern thrash metal and more modern death metal styles - notably melodic death metal, and, given that melodic death metal and thrash metal are pretty cloesely related, this combination works extremely well. While melodeath elements thus pop up, Hatesphere do not copy the Gothenburg sound, but stick to their own sound, which they obviously deserve credit for.
The vocals are harsh and angry (sort of falling between growling and yelling) which suits the aggressive music quite well. Although modern in nature, I think that there are more traditional elements and influences from legends like Slayer shining through in the tunes on this album.
I am a bit ambivalent about the production. The guitars have a crisp and edgy, well-defined sound, and the overall mix is quite well balanced, but the drums sound really flat - there is nothing wrong with the drumming itself, but the snare drum sounds like a wet cardbox.
The Great Bludgeoning lives up to its title - it is a true onslaught of one crushing solid riff after another. Hatesphere are riffmeisters, and that in itself makes this album a really great listen.
1. The Killer
3. Smell Of Death
5. The Wail Of My Threnode
6. Resurrect With A Vengeance
7. The Great Bludgeoning
8. Need To Kill
9. Devil In Your Own Hell