Hatesphere: "Serpent Smiles And Killer Eyes"

author MS date 06/02/07

On January 27th, Hatesphere went for something a bit out of the ordinary. Usually, when bands have a new album they want to promote, they send out promotional copies to both print and online press to receive reviews before the actual release of the album. Instead, Hatesphere chose to invite the press (and a few fans) to Lille Vega in Copenhagen to perform their new album in its entirety! The release of the album--their fifth studio album "Serpent Smiles And Killer Eyes"--is due 3 months later. We had an opportunity to speak with the band on last year's Roskilde Festival, where they told they had two new songs ready but nothing was finished yet, which indicates most of the writing process for the album took place only during this fall.

The expectations were high, as Hatesphere's preceding release "The Sickness Within" from 2005, received critical acclaim. It also received both "best album" and "best production" awards at Danish Metal Awards 2005. Following its release, the band destoryed Europe on several tours, playing more than 150 gigs in total. And if there is something Hatesphere is known for, it's their intense live shows.

When RF arrived at Vega, the place was already filled with people from all over the world, press and fans alike, all eager to hear the new material from one of Denmark's metal flagships. They didn't have to wait for long before the band entered the stage, Jakob Bredahl last as always, and the air was quickly filled with fists, horns and screams from the crowd. The first song was extremely catchy and well done, and straight from the beginning, the band seemed to play tighter and better than ever before. The sound as well seemed to near perfection, which was also why the band had chosen Lille Vega, as it is ideal for their style and sound.

The songs in general were very Hatesphere'ish, but at the same time, a clear improvement in song structuring and progression was obvious. From one second to the other, they went from fast thrashy passages, to slow groovy parts, making it impossible not to nod your head along. Some songs were very death metal characterized, with Bredahl growling instead of his usual grunts. So now you know what to expect, the album is going to be killer, broadening Hatesphere's usual outer boundaries to whole new areas.

In the end, the band played an encore brought on by the crowd, playing "The Reaper Of Life", and the title track from "The Sickness Within".

All in all, expect a very worthy follow up to "The Sickness Within". The band seems to be at the heigth of their careers with "Serpent Smiles And Killer Eyes", which will be released on April 30th through Steamhammer. From my first impression, I grade the album [8], but it is always difficult to judge an album upon hearing it for the first time, let alone hearing it live! As for the gig, a well-deserved [9].

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