This review marks a first for me. Reviewing a band as I hear them for the first time. Hateful abandon comes to us from Candlelight Records and the United Kingdom. What can you say about Hateful Abandon that hasn't already been said. Well almost anything actually. My efforts to educate myself on this duo were largely for naught as there isn't much to find about them on the world wide web. And that seems almost intentional as their website just redirects you to their facebook page where you can buy their T Shirts. I guess that means the music will have to do the talking.
Refreshingly Hateful Abandon are more than happy to acknowledge their influences. And with brazen use of adjectives like "Old" Skinny Puppy and "Old" Killing Joke. Too often bands shy away from obvious influences for fear of comparison. Which for me is ridiculous. CVLT Nation included this release as one of their six best post-pink releases of 2014. While I am familiar with post-punk I feel I should be clear that it's not a genre' I'm particularly into. I don't mean that as a judgments. Just a fact. That said let's get into this.
The cover I love. Simple yet bold. It's the Union Jack with cops primed in riot gear. I love this look. Black and white. Bold aggression. You can almost smell the tear gas as your eyes water from the pepper spray you know is coming. I believe album art should match the music contained. Time to put my headphones on and find out. What will I think about what really matters.
Maze Of Bastards - The word Gloomy comes to mind. For two guys with a Black Metal background that's not surprising but I was expecting a little more guitar present. There is much to like about this song. An apocalyptic funeral anthem if such a thing exists.
Culprit - The beginning actually reminds me a bit of late 80's band Sigue Sigue Sputnik. This sounds like what Danzig should have been going for with Blackaciddevil but fell short of. This song is so dusty I am thirsty listening to it. I really like Vice's vocal on this. (I just did a web search of Sigue Sigue Sputnik to check my spelling and to my surprise... they are still a thing.)
High Rise - Definitely a hint of Rammstein here. I imagine this is what Ed Gein heard in his head as he was making lamp shades of the tanned hides of his victims.
The Test - If my horror movies ever get made I know who will be doing the soundtrack. This song conjures images of someone slowly walking away from the horrible acts they have just done. Something burns in the background as people scream. It's a beautiful thing.
The Walker - Bells of doom. Chains of death. Sounds like a party... at a Hostel! Here I am the American rube who finds your accent funny and have no idea when you speak in your native tongue you are plotting to separate me from my limbs. They did a video for this song. Watch it HERE
There Will Never Be Peace - Why would there be. We live in a world of chaos and hurt. Maybe the most drum machine sounding the drum machine has sounded thus far. The haunting tones insist in such a way the vocals seem like an accompaniment.
December - The last song might as well be called December. Something about this song reminds me of Soundgarden's With My Good Eye Closed. This is the epic song would expect to be ending to this album. This is the most Sabbath sounding track as well. Dark. Foreboding. Heavy. This is my favorite.
At times they are somewhat derivative, Hateful Abandon still deliver what they promise. While much of what you hear is fabricated there is something very real about this record. I hear bits of Janes Addiction, Rammstein, Misfits, Kraftwerk, and Sisters of Mercy throughout. At times haunting, at times threatening. This isn't music for Thanksgiving Dinner with the family. Unless you're a relative of Rufus Firefly. It captures the best elements of electronica (the mood) and ditches the worst (the dance beats.) I would've preferred more guitar but apparently Hateful Abandon didn't. The end result is a very aura heavy soundscape perfect for a murder room... or a workout. This ain't for everyone so the only question is this for you.