I’m fairly new to HIDEOUS DIVINITY. I meet so many people I can’t even remember who it was that turned me onto them, but when this new record Cobra Verde (out now, Unique Leader Records) landed in my inbox a while back thanks to the awesome Liz at Earsplit PR I was pretty excited. It took some time but I was finally able to sit down and give it multiple spins…and spins…and spins! This is the second full-length from the Technical Death Metal band, headed up by Enrico “H.” Di Lorenzo on vocals, guitarists Antonio Poletti and Enrico Schettino (former HOUR OF PENANCE founder), Stefano Franceschini on bass, and Giulio Galati, whose drumming will knock you out of your chair quicker than you can say “blast beats”.
The record opens in epic fashion with 7:56 of “In My Land I Was a Snake” that just rips through you in every way imaginable, followed by “The Somber Empire” which is more of a frontal assault, again with Galati murdering his drum kit. Sinister tones completely envelop title track “Cobra Verde”. It is dark, it is evil, and it is coming for you. And when it gets you, prepare for your head to be ripped off and eaten, such is this monster that cannot be contained! And I can only describe the furious ending as being on the business end of the killer’s knife in a slasher film. The frenetic pacing of “Salt In the Martyr’s Tear” coupled with the twisting, emotive riffs make this one you will more than likely gravitate back to multiple times, as I have been a lot lately.
Another winner ten seconds in was “Sinister and Demented” coming in with a very “HULK SMASH” brutality while at the same time showing how to intelligently write Death Metal in this day and age. In that regard HIDEOUS DIVINITY is akin to ABYSMAL DAWN. Those guys crush your skull while at the same time making your jaw drop in awe at their writing. It’s very much the same with this band. In fact, someone should lobby for them to tour together, STAT! Very much a sense of chaos is what you’ll get from “Desolation Within” but just have faith because the band will bring it on home by song’s end. “The Alonest of the Alone” features a scorching guest vocal from NILE’S Dallas Toler-Wade and is another sure-fire ripper. And then “Adjinakou” shows up, a song that is all evil and menace with intentionally dark guitar sounds, begging you to get close enough so it can pull you down into its pit of despair.
The disc ends with a cover of “The Last and Only Son” from RIPPING CORPSE which is good, but not great. And it has nothing to do with how these guys play; I’m just not really a fan of the song to begin with. But other than that Cobra Verde is an excellent record with some of the nastiest and fiercest sounds that will defile your ears in 2014. HIDEOUS DIVINITY is in full attack mode and I can only imagine just how vicious their live show will be with the addition of these songs. The competition for my Death Metal Record of the Year is stiff, but this band is 100% in the running!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Sinister and Demented”, “Cobra Verde”, “Salt In the Martyr’s Tear”, “The Alonest of the Alone”, “In My Land I Was a Snake”