HANDFUL OF HATE – Gruesome Splendour

Italy’s HANDFUL OF HATE might be a new name in the underground metal scene, but under the radar the band has been churning out the black metal hate since 1993. Gruesome Splendour, the band’s fourth full-length, sees the band making the odd defection from Code 666 to Cruz Del Sur, a label known primarily for signing traditional power metal acts. Musically the band draws heavily from Swedish black metal acts such as MARDUK, DARK FUNERAL and NAGLFAR while including aggressive thrash riffing and large doses of atmosphere in to the mix. From the aptly-titled opener “Livid” to “Whiplaw,” HANDFUL OF HATE blasts efficiently and forcefully, but to their credit, the band never sacrifices songcraft in favor of all out intensity. For every blast, the band offsets the fury with ice cold atmospherics that keep the dynamics flowing and the album engaging. Album closer, “Ejaculation Dementiae,” slows the pace considerably with an ominous foreboding feeling that skillfully provides closure after the relentless thirty minute beatdown the listener just received. While not exactly the most original or groundbreaking act in metal, HANDFUL OF HATE‘s GGruesome Splendour nonetheless delivers tight, well-executed songs that bring the evil home. True I-talian black metal? Sure. Why the fuck not? (Cruz Del Sur Music)

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