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Album Reviews : Hackneyed – Burn After Reaping

By on September 27, 2009

24141German teenagers Hackneyed are one of the few extremely young bands signed to extremely large labels that actually show promise. Rather than the technical meandering that lacks in fluency or the breakdown in the middle that so many young bands focus around, Hackneyed’s sophomore album is a much more traditional style. That’s not to say it’s anything great, several of the tracks are mediocrity at its purist, but others shine.

While album starts off on a relatively low note, later tracks like “Purity” and “March of the Worms” are full of groove that’s as good as any. Wandering back and forth between classic death metal brutality and almost doom-paced groove, these guys clearly have an ear for melody. The songs flow, and flow well, with nary an awkward moment. Sure the music is somewhat simple and certainly not what you’d call interesting, but it’s solid. The riffs are basic but well organised, as are the drums. The vocals are much, much lower than I expected and certainly a nice surprise and the production is neither sickeningly clean nor muddy. I’d prefer a bit more balls behind the drums than the thinner triggered sound, but oh well. Opener “Finger on the Trigger”, alongside a few others, doesn’t have much going for it and comes off as quite bland. Whether this is a result of their lack of experience, who knows, but it drags the album down. Despite the lack of standout qualities in those songs they aren’t boring enough to be unlistenable, you’ll just have forgotten how it went before you’re even half way into the next.

Lyrically, it’s fucking abysmal. “Weed Flavoured Meat”? Oh come on, that’s not even funny.

‘Burn After Reading’ is a solid album and while several tracks are forgettable, they aren’t bad. While this isn’t going to be anybody’s album of the year, there will definitely be a track or two that appease most death metallers. Grab it and give it a shot. . 6/10

Band: Hackneyed
Album: Burn After Reaping
Year: 2009
Genre: Death Metal
Origin: Germany
Label: Nuclear Blast/Riot Entertainment

Track listing:
1. Burn…
2. Weed Flavoured Meat
3. Deatholution
4. Kingdom of Thoughts
5. March of the Worms
6. Bloodshed
7. Redying
8. Finger on the Trigger
9. Home Meat Home
10. Putrid <- Reviewers choice
11. Last Man On Earth
12. …After Reaping


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.