The Houston death metal band Haserot named themselves after an ominous statue seated on a marble gravestone in Cleveland’s Lakeview Cemetery; perched on the tomb of Francis Haserot and his family, it’s also referred to as “The Angel of Death Victorious”. Once you’ve seen that statue (and you can see it here), you won’t forget it. Once you hear Haserot‘s new EP Throne of Malice, it’s unlikely you’ll forget it either.
Haserot are a relatively new group, having come together in the last pre-pandemic year, but they have a veteran line-up that includes current or former members of Doomstress, Funeral Blues, Sanctus Bellum, Spectral Manifest, and Scrollkeeper. The experience shows in both the songwriting and the execution of this new EP.
The influence of ’90s death metal in the vein of Morbid Angel, Entombed, Bloodbath, and Carcass are evident, but the music hits like a combination of meteor strike and bulldozer rather than a rote repetition of what you’ve already heard before. It’s both a powerful reminder of what we loved about the past and a skull-cleaving, heart-palpitating illustration of what you miss if you confine yourself only to the old classics.
We have a riveting example of this point in the first single from the EP that we’re premiering today in advance of its May 27 release by Redefining Darkness Records. Its name is “Incantations At Dusk“.
photo by by Rick Custer
True to the song’s name, the melodies drape the track in a chilling supernatural atmosphere, but its visceral force is also undeniable. The song’s opening, for example, is downright massive and monstrous. The guitars have a dense mauling tone, and the riffing both heaves and jitters as the drums go off like cannon shots and the vocalist expels vicious screams and cold-blooded guttural roars.
There’s a feeling of approaching menace in that opening, but that looming monster then attacks in a savage frenzy, drums blasting and guitars swarming in a spasm of ferocious madness. Roiling chaos continues to erupt in paroxysms of violence, but the song also lumbers like a stricken behemoth, moaning in misery.
The near constant changes in tempo and mood make the song a thoroughly gripping experience, and the explosive impact of the drumwork assures that you’ll feel thoroughly beaten and battered throughout all the many twists and turns, which culminate in a fluid fret-melter of a solo that comes in over towering chords.
Haserot tell us: “The lyrics for this tune are ultimately about the sacrifice of innocence and purity, yielding to untethered darkness. Musically this tune pulls from the wellspring of Morbid Angel and really encapsulates what Haserot is about: mid-paced death metal with harmonies, strong groove, and melodic leads. It’s one of the earliest songs that was written for this band.”
Fitting for the striking music, the great Dan Swanö mixed and mastered the EP at Unisound, and the great Juanjo Castellano created a piece of cover art that will also seize attention and be hard to forget. The music was recorded at Lucky Run Studio with Ricardo Contreras.
Justin McKittrick – Vocals
Maurice Eggenschwiler – Lead Guitar
Brandon Johnson – Rhythm Guitar
Benjamin Yaker – Bass
Cryptos Grimm – Drums