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Album Reviews : Hour of Penance – Paradogma

By on June 16, 2010

2680711In the past I have had read some very positive things about Italy’s Hour of Penance yet, for some reason, had never gotten around to actually acquiring any of their three previous albums. My baptism by fire therefore comes with their latest album “Paradogma” and, based upon what I knew before, it was exactly what I was expecting.

Given that Hour of Penance are signed to Unique Leader (editors note: Australian release is through Stomp), a label formed by members of Deeds of Flesh and dedicated to death metal, it really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that a thorough pummelling is in order and that is exactly what you get from “Paradogma”.

As the opening title track builds up from a brief orchestral introduction, that almost sounds like it could come from Cradle of Filth, it soon bursts into a vicious cacophony of blast beats, guitar and growls that sets the tone for the thirty odd minutes of crushing death metal to follow.

At times Hour of Penance remind me of Nile (obviously without the thematic references to ancient Egypt) Hate Eternal and even some Morbid Angel in the soloing so anyone who enjoys the work of such esteemed bands would be well advised to give this album a chance.

Two words that immediately spring to mind throughout “Paradogma” are precision and fury in equal measure.  The whole album is built around a myriad of riffs and rhythms that can sometimes be disorienting due to the rapidity with which things change though there never seems to be a drop in quality as a result nor does the vitriol lessen.

Sure, impeccable musicianship is only half the battle as it means very little if the songs themselves lack focus but, fortunately, Hour of Penance successfully find the balance between complexity and brutality with a well balanced production allowing each instrument to be heard clearly.

The drumming by Mauro Mercurio is definitely worth a mention as his speed and dexterity throughout is impressive though it has recently been announced that he has left the band so it will be interesting to see if they can find another drummer who can match this performance.

Everything from the cover artwork to the song titles demonstrates a clear contempt for religion which is bound to happen when you hail from such a devout Catholic country like Italy as these gents do. It is readily apparent that Hour of Penance obviously despise the hypocrisy and dogma that keeps the masses in thrall and this is channelled into the music.

Without having heard their previous releases, “Paradogma” makes it clear to see why Hour of Penance continue to be considered one of the best of the new crop of death metal bands and I seriously doubt that there will be many other albums released this year that will be able to exceed the adroit performance that is put forth here. 8/10

Band: Hour Of Penance
Album: Paradogma
Year: 2010
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Stomp
Origin: Italy

Track listing:
1. Paradogma
2. Thousands Of Christs
3. The Woeful Eucharisty
4. Malevolence Of The Righteous
5. Caged Into Falsehood <- Reviewers choice
6. Incestuous Dynasty Of Worms
7. Adversary Of Bigotry
8. Incontrovertible Doctrines
9. Spiritual Ravishment
10. Apotheosis


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.