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Album Reviews : Halfmast – Death of Ignorance

By on September 29, 2011

It’s never a good thing when an album that doesn’t even break the half hour mark suffers from monotony. Despite “Disclaimer” and the thrashy “Consumers” kicking things off in fine form, it doesn’t take too much longer before the formulaic nature of Melbourne’s Halfmast becomes apparent.

Tracks like the horridly titled “A Razorblade Romance” and the slightly-more-varied “We’re All Dying” are proof that the band do know how to produce solid hardcore, however by the time you throw them into a string of twelve, similarly relentless aural assaults, they lose the impact that they have on their own. The majority of the guitar work is comprised of household riffs, which are more or less recycled every couple of songs, and the constantly-changing pace means that they never really build up to anything. Combined with vocals that, excluding a few gang sections, have only the slightest hint of variation, it results in a sound that simply lacks contrast.

On the positive side, taking single tracks as they are, Halfmast have a great overall sound. It’s raw without being overly noisy, and energetic enough to render the blandness of some of the riffs irrelevant. Throw this band onto a warehouse stage, fill the room with beers, and it would no doubt be a hell of a party.

However until they expand their sound that little bit further, and perhaps utilise more of the almost-spoken vocals that feature briefly on “The Fall”, they’re a band that underwhelm more than they should on a recorded format. 5/10

Band: Halfmast
Album: Death of Ignorance
Year: 2011
Origin: Melbourne, Australia
Label: Firestarter Distribution
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Track listing:
1. Disclaimer
2. Consumers
3. No Choice
4. The Fall
5. Holding Back
6. We’re All Dying
7. Justified Sacrifice
8. A Razorblade Romance
9. We’ll Sink
10. Crushing Me
11. Let Loose
12. Death of Ignorance


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.