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Hateful Abandon - "Liars/Bastards" (CD)

Hateful Abandon - "Liars/Bastards" CD cover image

"Liars/Bastards" track listing:

1. Maze of Bastards
2. Culprit
3. High Rise
4. The Test
5. The Walker
6. There Will Never be Peace
7. December

Reviewed by on December 19, 2014

"Although it's not what extreme metal fans may be used to overall, the use of industrial synths to create a dark sound is undeniably worth hearing."

Taking sonic darkness in a very different direction than many bands within the overall heavy music scene, Hateful Abandon delivers an industrial synth-driven experience. The mix of sounds will remain interesting to fans of heavy metal, despite the fact that if it weren't for the presence of harsher vocals, “Liars/Bastards” probably wouldn't even be considered “metal” to begin with.

“Maze Of Bastards” kicks off with weird reverberating sounds in the background as the drum beat builds up and shouts echo in and out from the void of sound. Although this isn't a black metal album, the music is frequently wrapped up in a bleak black metal aesthetic. This shifting paradigm is present across the disc as technology meets esoterica. While definitely more along the lines of electronic or even techno music, most of the tracks give off a mystical vibe. “High Rise,” for instance, fuses industrial tool noises with layered Native American chanting.

Guitars finally show up around the third track, and the album gets heavier for a time, but the bulk of the music is more focused on Gothic synths and repeating patterns, like on “Culprit.” Meanwhile, tracks like “The Walker” utilize a combination of silence and clanking, dragging sounds for a horror movie feel. “There Will Never Be Peace,” on the other hand, is a discordant and harsher track, with loads of echoing harsh vocals.

While really intriguing in the beginning, the album loses a bit of steam as the basic design of each track becomes apparent. Because it's atmospheric electronica, there's a lot of repetition in each song (“The Test” in particular suffers from this). Whether this works for you depends on whether you like being lulled into the trance or would rather hear something different after a few minutes.

Less chaotic than Stagnant Waters but more heavy than the later laid back music from Code, Hateful Abandon has elements of both of those avant-garde outfits shining through “Liars/Bastards.” Although it's not what extreme metal fans may be used to overall, the use of industrial synths to create a dark sound is undeniably worth hearing.

Highs: An intriguing sound that fuses industrial and electronic sounds with an esoteric black metal atmosphere.

Lows: There's a good deal of repetition, and much of the album lacks anything that's directly "heavy."

Bottom line: '80s gothic synths are matched with a bleak black metal atmosphere.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)