Hatesphere is a melodic death metal band from Denmark, and To The Nines is their sixth album. I’m not familiar with their earlier material, but To The Nines musically treads in areas familiar to bands such as Machine Head and latter-day Entombed. The first half of the album blows through like a whirlwind, with “Backstabber” and “Clarity” being among the best tracks. “Even If It Kills Me” is too short (1:22), and ends abruptly as if unfinished. A short instrumental, “Commencing A Campaign” seems to mark a clear line for the second half of the record before some interesting riffing takes over “The Writing’s On The Wall”. The final three songs, “In The Trenches”, “Aurora”, and “Oceans of Blood”, never relent and end the album with a heavy dose of brutality. Vocalist Jonathan Albrechtsen has a great death metal growl that borders on screaming, and helps to maintain a heavy edge to the songs. On a generous day I could give To The Nines and 8, but a couple short songs sound unfinished and leave me thinking that this album was rushed. There’s nothing bad here, so Hatesphere should be commended for writing a consistent, quality album that although short, isn’t loaded up with filler. To The Nines isn’t groundbreaking by any means, but in a world where many bands, notably Soilwork and In Flames, have drifted from their thrash and death metal roots, Hatesphere embraces extremity while injected a respectable level of melody and hooks to their songs.
Hatesphere will be appearing at Station 4 in St. Paul on Monday, March 15 as support to The Black Dahlia Murder. Additional support will come from Obscura and Augury