Poland is known for uncompromising death metal that is way over the top, but 2014 was a banner year even by the high standard of metal history. I have already mentioned the unholy trio of new releases from Vader, Behemoth and Decapitated which made huge waves this year, but Calm Hatchery need to be the 4th entry into this polish “big death 4 for 2014”.
Always a promising outfit, the intimidating Calm Hatchery first spooked me with their creepy name a few years ago when the Sacrilege Of Humanity record was released. Few bands give me chills like that but the name actually kind of freaked me out (reminding me of insect swarms or tombs of snakes waiting patiently in Indiana Jones movies, or something) and I wanted to hear their older stuff too. Hard to believe that was already nearly five years, but the band and Selfmadegod Records have continued to stand strong for extreme music. Listen to the first 18 seconds of “Flaming Prophecies” alone and by the time the opening drum fill sets up the onslaught, you wil probably already be sold.
From razor edged speed riffs and rapid fire death metal drumming, this is war metal with no regrets. The band are intellectual with their more thought provoking artwork than most but can hang hard or outmatch most peers in death metal. Flat out, their songs are memorable and here display a certain middle eastern quality that is intoxicating (the very apt “The Eternal Cycle”) and adds a sense adventure to the imminent danger in these songs.
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Think thrash Sepultura meets bouts of technical lead wizardry and relentless charge. Orphaned Land at least make you feel sad but resolute and hopeful when touching on some of these subjects, whereas Calm Hatchery just make you feel like human folly is ceaseless. Looking at the mid term elections in the USA and how easy we are conned to be ping ponged in the “two party” system which is in fact just basically one party of corrupt and bought officials these days, you kind of start to really feel futile. Thankfully, this music is so angry that is will also keep the fire churning in your gut and make you want to keep looking for justice. Even the title Fading Reliefs suggests wisdom, like cracked edifices and reliefs, is being forgotten and we must remember to find true “relief”.
If the mid tempo barrage, chug and spectral layers of “In The Midst Of Nothingness” don’t get to you, chances are you don’t like death metal.
“Illusory World” is a psycho workout of lighting fast tech death with a very gruff attack and razorblade tremelo. There is a bitter but almost spiritual feeling to the intensity of the metal here, a sense of pure determination despite dissapointments in life. The leads, especially on “Illusory World” and “Blessing Of Mantra” are liquid fire unleashed. The chanting and groove intro to amazing single “Blessing Of Mantra” makes you feel pride in being a devoted death metal fan until you have to bang your brain against your skull when the verse starts. Many bands try to look intense or write about dark shit to seem like bad news, but Calm Hatchery make you deeply feel it in your shoulders. It’s up to you if you square them or slouch in defeat, but either way the war rages on.
RIYL Nile, Morbid Angel with a more consistent career of quality, new Gorguts