Hath – All That Was Promised (Review)

Hath - All That Was PromisedHath are a progressive blackened death metal band from the US, and this is their second album.

This is the follow up to 2019’s very well-received Of Rot and Ruin.  On All That Was Promised Hath, (who feature current and ex-members of Cognitive and Dystrophy), return with 52 minutes of new material.

Hath’s sound on their new album is dark and brutal. Their progressive elements have been allowed to roam freely, picking up a few new tips and tricks, but the music is still surprisingly merciless. Ultimately this is death metal, of course, so no matter how it’s cut and how many different styles are incorporated into it, the music is still basically a punishing assault.

Having said that though, All That Was Promised is an album of light and shading, and not just darkness. That these are used to make the heavier parts heavier and the darker parts darker is almost irrelevant, as we’re still left with a nicely textured collection of death metal tracks. Underlying melodic darkness and bursts of dissonance simply add flavour to what is a delectable feast of extreme metal mastery. Multifaceted is a good word for Hath’s music.

The well-written songs showcase a wealth of Hath’s talents, from blackened atmosphere to riffs that don’t quit. The dynamic songwriting allows the music to change paces, styles, and moods with professional ease. Whether it’s serrated speed, malevolent groove, cutting riffs, blackened grandeur, emotive mood, or anything else; there are lot of good ideas, progressive flourishes, and creative nuances demonstrated throughout these songs, and each listen brings something new out of the distorted carnage.

The musicianship is set at a high level throughout, but while the technicality is obvious, it is never allowed to get in the way of the needs of the music. The bass has a real role to play in the music on occasion, which is great to hear. I also like a good guitar solo, and there are plenty of those here. The drums are precise and inhuman, just as we like them to be for something like this. The band’s use of cleans and semi-cleans as emotive highlights has been developed further, and they complement the main death growls very well indeed when they’re used.

Despite how undeniably good Of Rot and Ruin was, Hath have somehow managed to surpass it. All the promise of the band’s debut album has been realised on their second one. Is that the meaning of the album title? All That Was Promised? Either way, the title is very apt, as Hath are sounding stronger than ever.

Essential listening.

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