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Album Reviews : Hideous Divinity – Simulacrum

By on November 20, 2019

Over the past 15 years Italy has developed it’s own sound and identity when it comes to death metal. Bands like: Hour of Penance, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Ad Nauseam and Septycal Gorge are just a few to name. Then there is Hideous Divinity who was formed in 2007 in Rome. It seems so fitting that a city so rich in culture and history are the birthplace of such a brutal yet stunningly majestic band. This is the fourth full-length album from the band and the first which has been released by Century Media Records. Growing as songwriters with each release Hideous Divinity have reached that point where the tag of being underground is starting to wear off. Gruelling tour schedules across Europe and the USA are proof this band is doing everything the right way and the 12 years of hard work is reaping its rewards.

So how does ‘Simulacrum‘ compare to the high standard of modern death metal of this year? It’s right up there with the best! An album which displays 110% conviction from a band who have no plans in letting up any time soon. Utter chaos combined with moments of epic melodic guitar work create a record which rarely finds the listener skipping tracks. The tightening up of guitars/solos from the twin axe attack of Enrico Schettino and new member Ricardo Benedini is frightening. A drumming masterclass from Giulio Galati which ranks alongside the best of extreme metal drummers.

The first 2 tracks “Deleuzean Centuries” and “The Embalmer” are mind-blowingly crushing, to say the least. Since the previous record ‘Adveniens‘ these Italian maniacs have taken their music in a darker more atmospheric direction which is shown in great effect in the opening track on “Simulacrum”. “The Embalmer” which was the song chosen for the horrifying video clip which was released a few months ago. Their ability to hold back the brutality and sink in something epic is hugely reminiscent of Nile or Immolation but done with their own flavour.

“Annamorphia Atto III” is a particular favourite on the record. Being the longest track it comprises of high rapid melodies, tyrannic riffing from the bowels of hell and more than a few necks snapping moments which all climaxes into a doomy and foreboding ending.

The ability to constantly engage the listener with twists and turns is something the band have mastered so well over the years.

“Actaeon” incorporates the use of more mind-bending fretwork, bombastic intensity and hugely epic riffage as does: “Bent Until Fracture” and “Seed of a Future Horror” verging on the breakneck speed at times it is increasingly evident, but always remaining in control are hugely visible on these tracks.

“Implemini Exitio” caught me way off guard as the band takes things down to a darker more doomy level, but being the end of the album it shows once again how closely Hideous Divinity are aware of the dynamic which is required at this stage of an album. The final 2 tracks are covers from “Machine Head – Blood of the Zodiac” which sounds little like the original, but comes together impressively as does “Mayhem – Cursed in Eternity”

This band has truly come into their own with the release of “Simulacrum”. The ability to create something so astonishingly heavy yet with moments of melodic epicness is spectacular.

Band: Hideous Divinity
Album: Simulacrum
Year: 2019
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Century Media Records
Origin: Rome