Release Date: 19th March 2021
Record Label: Prosthetic Records
For Fans Of: Whitechapel, Thy Art Is Murder, The Black Dahlia Murder
It seems common practice for deathcore/technical death metal bands to release the same album over and over again. For some reason, the musicians can’t possibly entertain the idea that fans may get bored of them showing off their technical proficiency in place of developed songwriting. Fortunately for the fans, Depths Of Hatred have decided to mix things up with their latest album.
Inheritance is the first full length release from the Canadian five piece in seven years, and the debut record of new vocalist William Arseneau. As one would expect/hope after such a long break, the band’s sound has gone through some changes. Whereas they were once no nonsense deathcore, Depths Of Hatred have developed their sound by incorporating elements across the spectrum of the metal genre, crafting an album that can stand above the swathe of extreme records that are heavy and techy for the sheer hell of it.
But don’t be fooled into thinking this modern death metal band have abandoned their roots – there are still more blast beats and tremolo picking passages present on the album than you can shake a stick at (shaking a stick at something is the best way to show appreciation). Instead of relying on these tropes though, Depths Of Hatred have cherry picked the sounds they truly want on the record, rather than including them out of obligation. The tempos are no longer exclusively at breakneck speed, with many songs and passages adopting a more mid tempo groove, and dialled back are the piano interludes that signify the beginning or end of a track; an objective improvement, since it is deathcore’s go-to method of proving ‘instrumental experimentation’.
The most notable change, and potentially the most divisive, is the vocals. Arseneau is able to pull off the guttural lows and piercing shrieks one would expect from a versatile death metal vocalist, but his secret weapon is his clean singing voice. Now normally, this will be met with cries of “there’s no place for cleans in death metal!”, followed by instant dismissal of the record. And yes, with music so relentlessly heavy and technical, it can be jarring if the vocals don’t follow suit. But Arseneau’s voice is unlike any other in death metal. Sounding like a powerful blend of Howard Jones and James Hetfield, Arseneau’s melodic vocals in the choruses (yes, there are choruses) have just the right amount of grit to appease the metal purists, but will also turn heads from those who appreciate a good singing voice. Album highlight ‘Sadistic Trials’ demonstrates this perfectly, with a catchy chorus that in no way compromises the heavy nature of the track itself.
An absolute step up from their previous output, Inheritance sees Depths Of Hatred on the path to becoming something great. The album itself may not redefine the technical death metal genre, but it shows that artists don’t have to rely on the expectations of the genre. By eschewing the clichés and embracing elements that many consider non-traditional, Depths Of Hatred have stood out from the crowd, creating a tech-death record that listeners won’t forget after their first listen.
Recommended Tracks: Sadistic Trials, Illusive Obsession, Inheritance
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