Hour Of Penance: Regicide

Italian mob dust off the arcane spirit of death metal

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As well as having the prerequisite technical ability, Hour Of Penance’s calling card lies in their ability to summon an unnerving atmosphere that surrounds their precise death metal assault.

A tremendous production helps the cacophony of vicious riffs reach a grandiosity on par with the likes of Nile, while the guttural growls and raw blastbeats keep Regicide sounding both feral and formidable. The harrowing Desecrated Souls buries itself deep into the unconscious while Resurgence Of The Empire’s blackened descent into haunting choral chants sounds like it’s ushering in the end of days.

Sealed Into Descent is augmented by frenzied playing and clever rhythmic passages that ably demonstrate the band’s musical chops, but the band also possess an arsenal of razor-sharp hooks, with even the berserker maelstrom of Redeemer Of Atrocity unleashing a memorable vocal refrain.

Regicide melds the merits of both the old and new schools to tap into the primal soul of death metal, delivering one of the most accomplished achievements of the year.