Hierophant - Mass Grave album review

Hard-hitting death metallers fail to find enough definition

Cover art for Hierophant's Mass Grave

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Not to be confused with New Jersey funeral doom miserablists, this Hierophant hail from Italy and play a sludgy form of bludgeoning modern death metal on steroids. The band’s fourth full-length shows them sharpening into a more tightly knit unit of blunt force trauma-inducing brutality. The band’s violent and sometimes one-dimensional approach to death metal carries the spirit and anger of modern New York hardcore and metalcore, containing plenty of chugging riffs and brawling beatdowns, which will no doubt inspire the appropriate hostile reaction in a live setting. Guitarist Lollo’s vocals pack an especially powerful punch and amp up the energy and aggression with a barking and hateful malevolence that few can rival, but the lack of variation can become quickly tiresome.

Mass Grave showcases some impressive technical proficiency and boasts a razor-sharp production. Each track is an extremely focused assault, but the compositions meld into one massive brawl, as tracks remain unmemorable in the maelstrom.