ALBUM REVIEW: Hideous Divinity - Unextinct

ALBUM REVIEW: Hideous Divinity - Unextinct

Unextinct will be released March 22nd on Century Media

Roman tech-death act Hideous Divinity come barreling into 2024 with their brand new album Unextinct on Century Media. The band's first new album in five years. The band's complex and brutal sound has evolved since the band's debut in 2012 with Obeisance Rising. The new album "deals with the awakening to a reality where existence is a cycle of being born to die and rise anew amidst the ruins of fallen ideologies" per the band's Bandcamp. With this underlying and foreboding theme, along with the band's trademark brutality and intricacy, did the band deliver a unholy beast of a brutal death metal record?

The album opens with the ominous and echoed snare hits of the intro "Dust Settles on Humanity". A chugging and heavy ringing guitar section echoes in the track as the drum strikes hit hard, creating an eerie and dark atmosphere to the theme of the album and what's to come with the uneasy guitar tone and pummeling double bass. Then the album officially starts with "The Numinous One". The brutality is off to a pounding start with the opening growl of Enrico "H" Di Lorenzo. With the aggressive and fast-paced technical guitar of Enrico Schettino and fill-heavy drums of Stefano Franceschini. Starting the album with unmerciful aggression and no reprieve. An impressively fast and technical solo near the quarter mark amps up the intensity of this over seven minute journey. The song is layers upon layers of progressive evolution and talented musicianship. Building a dynamic and sonically heavy and complex track.

Following the sonic onslaught is "Against The Sovereignty of Mankind". Opening with a thrashy, fretboard hopping guitar riff, the band continues the destructive pacing of the previous track. Schettino just doesn't let up with his ability to create a chugging heavy riff during the verse, matched with the pounding double bass of Franceschini adding more force to the heaviness of the guitar. With another intricately and impressive guitar solo, the song is just unrelenting anger and power in the mix as well. Di Lorenzo's gutturals are heavy as all hell, especially mixed with his highs in the three quarters mark of the track. Channeling an Eldritch horror-like vocal combination during the closing section of the track.

"Atto quarto, The Horror Paradox" opens with mandolin, which I didn't know you could make that instrument sound evil and uneasy in the playing. Then BAM! Di Lorenzo comes in with his grow and the rest of the band shock the listener from the calm reprieve of the opening track. I like the Nile-esque syncopated chugging, start/stop pacing, before Franceschini just destroys your ears with blast beats and drum fills all across the verse section. Schettino is again a riff machine on the track. I do like how the song has more slowed-down elements in the track, channeling a melodic death/doom sound to it. Interspersed with blast beats and tremolo-like guitar sections. I love the guitar solo at the halfway mark of the song, again accented by Franceschini's intense speed and drum fills throughout. Then, the track slows to a crawl after the solo. Building a feeling of dread as the song slowly begins to pick up and get louder. I LOVE this contrast of technical death metal into the melodic death/doom sound you would get from Insomnium or Novembers Doom, or the heavier funeral doom variant like Ahab. Fitting the overall theme of the album.

On "Quasi-Sentient", opening with a distorted, manic sounding audio clip before the riff comes in with the same doom-esque guitar playing. I love the gurgle-esque bass in the midst of the verses popping through, before the pacing of the riff intensifies. The song is just a diverse, and brutal breakdown throughout. Unrelenting drums dominate the track with the guitars playing. Almost as more atmospheric and not the main drive of the track. The slowed down pacing at the halfway mark, with the demonic and unholy vocals, create a ritualistic feel in the layered vocal effects in the mix. Franceschini's drums standout on the track and are one of the highlights of the album. "Hair, Dirt, Mud" starts with a VERY atmospheric, ethereal and simple guitar passage. So much chorus, delay and reverb fills the space of the mix before the band comes in with a slow and ominous build. Then, fading back to the original opening guitar. Almost like the band is toying with the listener, before the band finally grabs them near the three quarters mark. The shortest song on the album, but with the unhinged vocals, commanding presence of the band's performance, it leaves an impact.

With "More Than Many, Never One", the band delivers the slow build again effect in the opening, but with a heavier start. Schettino's chugging riff, into a clean guitar tease shocks the listener with the chugging, palm-muted riff kicking back in during the verses. Di Lorenzo has so much snarl and visceral aggression in his vocals. The band loves to play with the progression and pacing of the song. There is a lot of slow downs, speed ups, tempo/pacing changes and just overall technicality. I love the rise of Schettino's guitar solo at the halfway mark, almost coming out of nowhere in the mix. He truly leads the charge on the track. The guitars are such a unique element to the track, making it kind of hard to predict where the song will go at certain points, which I think Schettino likes to do with his playing on the album. "Der velorene Sohn" is a short and eerie ambient piece, finally giving the listener some rest from the heavy onslaught and brutality the band has delivered so far.

"Mysterium Tremendum" opens with an almost death-grind, brutal death metal speed you'd hear in the vein of Aborted. Di Lorenzo's vocal juggling of deep, gutturals, to phlegm-inducing snarling highs is done perfectly and layered well in the production. The song is more straight-forward in the performance. There isn't the super progressive elements on this track compared to the rest of the album, but is a really strong technical death metal track, with the band just firing on all cylinders in speed and proficiency. Near the three quarters mark, we start to see some of the atmospheric elements appear with cavernous-reverb soaked guitars and ambience before the guitars and drums come roaring back with Di Lorenzo leading a closing final punch to the track. The album's closer "Leben ohne Feuer" returns to the progressive and atmospheric opening the band has done well on the album. Di Lorenzo's vocals have some rise and depth at certain parts of the track, showcasing his range and ability to match the uniqueness of his bandmates. With pummeling drums and all over the place guitar layering, the band brings the album to a dramatic end.

Hideous Divinity gave the fans what they wanted with a more complex and heavy theme in both the band's sound and lyrics. Di Lorenzo's vocals match the uneasiness and underlying hopelessness of the band's death/doom sound on the album. Schettino & Franceschini are an impressive rhythm section that knows how to amplify and enhance the other in their playing. Musically, it scratches that itch of technical brutal death metal that I want from bands like Nile, but adds the elements of death/doom, maybe funeral doom in the vocal combo on certain songs. Overall, a strong release and a good record overall and the fan's patience will definitely be rewarded with this album.

SCORE: 9.5 / 10

1) Dust Settles on Humanity

2) The Numinous One

3) Against The Sovereignty of Mankind

4) Atto quarto, The Horror Paradox

5) Quasi-Sentient

6) Hair, Dirt, Mud

7) More Than Many, Never One

8) Der velorene Sohn

9) Mysterium Tremendum

10) Leben ohne Feuer

FFO: Nile, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hour of Penance

The band has announced some European dates starting in April, including some festival dates. If you want more info on these dates, pre-order the new album or get some merch from the band, check out

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