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Calm Hatchery - "Sacrilege Of Humanity" (CD)

Calm Hatchery - "Sacrilege Of Humanity" CD cover image

"Sacrilege Of Humanity" track listing:

1. Rattlesnake’s Dream
2. Sea Of Truth
3. Messerschmitt
4. We Are The Universe
5. Mirror Giants
6. Hymn Of The Forgotten
7. Them
8. Lost In The Sands
9. Those Who Were
10. Shine For The Chosen One
11. The Blood Of Stalingrad

Reviewed by on December 26, 2010

"Drawing inspiration from Nile and Morbid Angel, the Polish quintet is light on originality, but heavy on crackling riffs and roaring blast beats."

The end of another year is upon us and that means a period of reprieve before the beginning of another crazy year of music. This small window allows people to catch up on any albums they missed during the year. It isn’t an empty graveyard of new releases though; a few albums trickle their way out. Calm Hatchery’s second album, “Sacrilege of Humanity,” deals out a little holiday cheer in the form of brutal death metal. Drawing inspiration from Nile and Morbid Angel, the Polish quintet is light on originality, but heavy on crackling riffs and roaring blast beats.

Calm Hatchery takes cues from Nile’s passion for Egyptian culture in the artwork and intro track to “Sacrilege of Humanity.” The cover art shows an ancient ruin behest by broken shields and cast into darkness by an eclipse, the swan song of a lost civilization. With ambient keys and sampling, “Rattlesnake’s Dream” has a tranquility to it that is nowhere to be found in the next ten tracks. The band shifts into another level with the start of “Sea of Truth” and nothing slows them down until the lurching pace of closer “The Blood of Stalingrad.” Keeping such a frank momentum for over thirty minutes can be exhausting, yet Calm Hatchery adapts and thrives in the most reckless situations.

The twin guitar assault make up a bulk of the thrilling moments, with blaring harmonic leads on “Lost in the Sands” and “Mirror Giants.” The guitarists aren’t satisfied with chunky riffs and screeching whammy-bar solos; there is a distinct tone early on that the skills set from a guitar standpoint is far from average. The band has full command of what they want out of their music, and they have no intention of flirting with outside influences. This is a death metal album, and it stays that way with limited diversions. While the throaty monotone bellows and bland drums are disappointing, the guitars are the centerpiece of “Sacrilege of Humanity.”

Their work is important in keeping the album under control, as there are instances where the songwriting is directionless. Songs fly out of the gate, like “Those Who Were,” and never really pick up again. There are tunes like the mid-paced “Hymn of the Forgotten” that leave no literal impression on the listener. A fantastic track such as “Shine For The Chosen One” is placed alongside these songs, leaving to an uneven album that goes through more ups-and-downs than a day at the stock market. None of the songs are downright awful; just a few boring numbers to counterbalance the solid death metal quickies.

Most people are looking ahead to 2011, leaving Calm Hatchery to fend for itself with “Sacrilege of Humanity.” The only advantage this album has is the fact that the market for new death metal is so dry that process of elimination leaves “Sacrilege of Humanity” as the lone savior. The genre has had many great releases this year, from the return of Atheist to the continued dominance of powerhouse Immolation, and Calm Hatchery just can’t compete with their brand of aggressive, yet unspectacular, death metal.

Highs: Sweet twin guitar assault, "Lost in the Sands" and "Shine For The Chosen One" are brutal numbers, nods to Nile's Egyptian influences

Lows: Lack of originality, a few duds that go nowhere, a sound that is too commonplace in metal

Bottom line: In a year filled with fantastic death metal, Calm Hatchery can only muster an average album out of "Sacrilege of Humanity."

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 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)