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TRAUMASPHERE - review
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HOD
HOD
Serpent
(Ibex Moon Records)
36:47min

Texans HOD exemplify an ancient trait in that windswept, desolate region for dark, malicious, blasting Death Metal crafted for those with an appreciation of what makes that style so awesome. Venomous, tight, powerful, these are appropriate adjectives to describe this relatively new assemblage of long-embattled Metal warriors who claim ties to such notable acts as Thornspawn and (gasp!) Necrovore. Coming after one demo, "Serpent" represents HOD's full-length debut, and it is a solid dose of the good stuff: gravelly vocals invoking evil intentions and occult esoterica; a composed drummer effectively employing the best in brutal Death Metal rudiments; classic '80s reverb- and delay-saturated guitar solos erupting only to be grabbed from their soaring ecstasy by filthy demon claws and summarily drowned in a whirling chaos of further blasting. Songs lengths hover around the five minute mark, indicating the songwriters allowed themselves plenty of time to indulge in wrapping and suffocating the listener in a spider's web of complexity. Some real ass kicking develops during the Black Metal sections, which are treated as all-out thrashes and not as distance-inducing atmospheres - a big plus, there. The production is very clear, every individual performance is discernible, and the drums sound quite bright, yet overall the production lacks warmth and I hear some distinct digital flaws at times that should be noted on a purely technical level. As someone who spends time working with digital recording, I've heard the same audio defects on snare and toms before. What probably happened was the levels were too high at recording or maybe the processor was overloaded. Proscriptor from Absu mastered this record at his studio so I would assume he entered his best effort at sprucing-up the recording studio's mistakes. Again, these critiques are only technicalities that do not ultimately deter from the mighty HOD realizing their absolutely sinister material. For all further information visit www.myspace.com/hodtheband and www.ibexmoonrecords.com

Lem Lycurgus

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