1. Rats Whisper Murder
2. Diamond Spine
3. Riding the Blade
5. Boiling Seas
6. Painters Rope
Artist: Hateful Abandon
Title: Famine (or Into the Bellies of Worms)
Country: United Kingdom
CAT #: TTR 026
Released: 02 December 2008
Running time: 27:54
With the recording of “Famine (or into the Bellies of Worms)” complete, it is now possible to state with absolute confidence: Hateful Abandon is England’s finest, most unique new band. Dark pop, post-punk and a hint of black metal collide in dream-like anthems of deeply personal and lurid art. Hateful Abandon are genre-defining and totally unrestrained by any conventions.
Instantly memorable songs are crafted with intricately textured guitars, an earthy bass and perfectly accented drums. The vocals are unparalleled and a brave contrast to the lazy, predictable efforts of many bands in any of the genres Hateful Abandon approaches. Battling between rich, deep, strong yet still human and fragile;and the most painful, retching screams.
Famine is a landmark album, independent from any perceived contexts. It marks the beginning of a band about to tear through underground music.
A lot of bands are fleeing Black Metal like rats from a sinking ship. Indeed the old ideas of “kvlt” and “grim” have been hoisted. Bands like Alcest began to incorporate Shoegaze elements into their compositions (Though I think Ulver had most folk beat with the vocals on Bergtatt). There was an influx of bands mixing styles and dabbling with different combinations of genres. Amesoeurs gave a sampling of Post-Rock meets Black Metal on their debut EP, whilst Swedish band Lifelover put out an average debut that tried to meld Black Metal with Post-Punk (In the worst, cut n’ paste fashion). As a long time fan of Post-Punk it was quite depressing to be presented with a thoughtless waste of composition that sounded more like a Joy Division pastiche than any serious artistic statement.
Hateful Abandon is a U.K. based band featuring Vintyr (Of Basilisk) and Swine (Of Swine et al). Whilst both aforementioned bands are amazing in their own right they don’t really reflect what is offered up on Famine. Hateful Abandon, to use a cliche, is more than the sum of it’s parts.
The most important point to raise in any review is that the music of Hateful Abandon is pretty far removed from the black metal that both members are known (Or are they?) for. Famine carries a strong dub influence ala early Public Image Ltd. Spacious production with heavy focus on the rhythm section. In both composition and delivery Famine harkens back to the time period between ’78 and ’84 when Post-Punk was still a rich, rewarding musical movement. This is not to say that the record is stagnant, it injects a far darker atmosphere as cold and grim as any “pure” Black Metal album. The tracks are peppered with harsher vocals which gel perfectly with the claustrophobic atmosphere created and lend the Black Metal edge to the album.
Vintyr’s vocals are at times harsh and commanding and at others damaged and pleading. Running an emotional gambit but never sounding forced. Always gelling with the music. It’s really hard to pin-point a similar sound, Famine races between Disintegration era Cure atmosphere, Joy Division bass lines (No, literally a Joy Division bass line), Joyless esq “Depressive Rock”. It’s a refreshing listen coming out of two (practically) dead genres. The most frequent similarities appear to be to the United States band Grinning Plowmen (Specifically their track Inquisition). Famine is, as a whole, a fantastic album. With a concrete vision and style that never falters.
Once in a blue moon, you discover new and unique bands that are able to give you goosebums.
Hateful Abandon is definitly one of them! I came across them on Myspace, because their coverart instantly appealed to me. I usually have a hunch for this, and luckily I was right. This is a band of great quality.
Even though their logo looks pretty old school black metal-ish, they’re not a black metal act.
After doing a bit of research, I found out they once were a black metalband called Abandon.
And after listening to their old material, I’m pretty sure all the changes are for the better. Hateful Abandon is promoted as ‘total artistic freedom’. Mixing genres, doing exactly what they want – not being tied to any rules.
This is a genious mix of post-punk, dark pop and ambient, meeting old school black metal. And it’s impossible to define them into a genre. They float between the fragile and the majestic in their dreamscapes. It sounds epic, yet minimalistic. Their sampling fits their sound, not being overwhelming. The vocals goes from whispering to cries of pain and deep clean vocals which manages to add a really dark and depressive atmosphere. The opening of ‘Ride the blade’ makes me close my eyes, and just enjoy. I love the contrasts between the pop-ish music and the rasping black metal vocals. But I’m sorry to say; in my opinion they probably used their weakest track (‘Lungs’) to make a video.
I’m convinced these guys are up&coming, and they will probably appeal to the black metal aristocrats and others who appreciate quality.
Beat the Blizzard
This is a rather obscure but rewarding debut from Hateful Abandon. Evoking the bleak fog of the UK, this duo play sparse post-punk melancholy with a blackened metal edge. Mournful bellows, accompanied by sinister, wraith-like snarls, open a space where the cold bass lines of Joy Division meet the raspy gloom of Altar of Plagues.
While the dual vocals initially seem melodramatic and odd, they come to complement the fluid guitar riffs as they twist their menacing way. Slower songs like “Riding the Blade” and “Avalanche” roll on with apocalyptic grandeur, with plodding percussion and eerie post-rock jangles creating dark spaces for the band to explore. Hateful Abandon are at their best towards the album’s conclusion, as they throw off their shadowy art-rock decorum and launch into energetic (but none the less oppressive) bursts of post-punk. “Painters Rope” and “Lungs” are understated masterpieces, with sinewy bass lines reminiscent of “Shadowplay” and other dark classics from Unknown Pleasures.
While Hateful Abandon are clearly disciples of the English post-punk tradition, they inject enough of a cold, black metal atmosphere to create a distinct and moody sound. Through the careful use of space, an exchange of vocal styles and muscular muscianship, Hateful Abandon walk a dark mile to the coast, blurring the horizon line.
The Rock Blogger, 4.5 stars