Of Rot and Ruin

April 10, 2019


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The Pitch: New Jersey blackened death metal band Hath follow up their 2015 underground sensation EP Hive with a full-length album via Willowtip Records. FFO: Slugdge, Opeth, Lamb Of God

What I Like: Hive was an excellent EP. Whenever I found myself reflecting on bands that could carry the torch for the old sound of Opeth, Hath regularly topped my mental list. But Of Rot and Ruin finds the band's sound evolving well beyond the comparison into unexpected new territories. While the trademark bouncy, proggy riffs and acoustic interludes do continue to make their presence known on the likes of "Currents," I find myself now also drawing comparisons to Lamb Of God. Both the approach to guitar and half-sung, half-screamed vocals on tracks like "Usurpation" sound as if they could have been featured on Resolution or Sturm und Drang. It's that same groovy, post-thrash vibe and Randy Blythe-ish vocals; but nicely mitigated by other prog and black metal influences.  This interesting union of styles also brings Slugdge to mind, especially on the epic 8+ minute opus that is "Rituals," but suffice it to say that Hath are really beginning to come into their own.

Critiques: As this band matures into what sounds like an accomplished adulthood, I am hearing a few understandable growing pains of an adolescent phase. The album as a whole feels a little inconsistent, and the songwriting could definitely have a smoother flow. Minor flaws overall, but worth noting if they mean to take the throne.

The Verdict: Of Rot and Ruin isn't quite Hath's crowning achievement, but it is a solid album and clear step towards greatness. I nothing but confidence in this band's ability to really blow us all away in the not too distant future. Definitely check this one out and keep Hath bookmarked on your bands to watch list.

Flight's Fav's: Current, Accursed, Progeny

- Review by FlightOfIcarus

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