"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Confront Hate - "Diabolical Disguise of Madness" (CD)

Confront Hate - "Diabolical Disguise of Madness" CD cover image

"Diabolical Disguise of Madness" track listing:

1. Sokenra
2. Hate Will Never Die
3. Corrupted Desire
4. Conception
5. New Divine Shadow
6. Love Grows Cold
7. Diabolical Disguise of Madness
8. Feeling the Silence

Reviewed by on September 9, 2011

"Confront Hate has the basic metal hardcore sound down and make a lot of attempts towards rendering it interesting with a variety of elements."

Plenty of interesting metal has been coming out of the Iberian peninsula, including the addition of Portugal's Confront Hate to the metalcore genre. Their debut full-length, "Diabolical Disguise of Madness," adds a certain level of polish and authenticity to that often-maligned sub-genre, for the most part giving a fairly decent factor of depth to the songs.

"Sokenra" starts the album by building an instrumental of subtle guitar strains that escalate into a stark landscape of leads and chords. What makes it listenable is the way the leads and rhythm are stacked and reverbed, making it sound akin to a synthesizer. They aim to convey desperation and alienation, and the whole release has bleak feel to it that at times is chunky and riff-heavy like Meshuggah, but mechanized like Fear Factory. The theme of disenfranchisement is loud and clear in "Love Grows Cold," another instrumental track whose lone guitar riffing builds from wind and thunder into the requisite breakdowns one finds in -core metal.

The balance of the material contains vocalization that usually hits the mark in the way the singer belts out a gruff menacing spew of vitriol, similar to Machine Head. On the faster tracks, like "Conception," he's in his element, but when the slower segments come into play, it doesn't always jar. Those spoken-style lyrics on that song remind me of "Hangar 18" and sound out of place amongst the choppy tempo. Basically, I know they're trying to change it up on the songs, so it isn't all a traditional metalcore blueprint of "Corrupted Desire" or "Hate Will Never Die" - wanting to add more than a swift gait of shouts, breakdowns and a few subdued choruses.

The title track is definitely my favorite, since it integrates so many elements together. It fades in on a cloud of spacey vocals complemented by atonal guitar interludes that switch off with the stampeding rhythm. "New Divine Shadow" is also pretty good with its screeching, trebled leads, loud hammering chords and a rant about DNA. The longest song is the 13-minute opus "Feeling the Silence," which leaves you with more questions than requitement. Confront Hate sound like they're aiming for a unique, distinct sound with this one, but this song needs to make up its mind. The distant-sounding guitar gives way to a "stay with me" chorus that pegs higher notes like retro metal, but then abruptly dissolves into a lead loop. Then seven minutes into the song, it goes quiet - with no reprise. Next follows six minutes of dead air, which makes me think they have been listening to "The Misinterpretation of Silence" by Type O Negative.

Confront Hate has the basic metal hardcore sound down and make a lot of attempts towards rendering it interesting with a variety of elements. The key is, don't add too much unless you can really integrate it all. They do well on certain tracks when they don't try to be overzealous about it all and keep it simple.

Highs: Decent metalcore that adds depth to the simplicity of the genre.

Lows: Many elements they try to add come off sounding obtuse.

Bottom line: Fairly accomplished for a freshman effort and should be interesting to see what they put out next.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)