Nov 102023

About five years ago, after becoming immersed in the debut death metal EP of Hatred Reigns from Ottawa, Ontario (whose title was Realm: I – Affliction), we lauded “the band’s ability to join together murderous brutality and impressive technical fireworks,” “whipping the listener through a vortex of sound that is somehow both chaotic and machine-precise”.

Consisting of three tracks, that EP was released to provide a preview of a future concept album. Now,  on the other side of a lot of hard work, and hard times brought about by the covid pandemic, Hatred Reigns are at last ready to release that concept album on December 1st, and its name is Awaken The Ancients.

To help pave the way, today we’re premiering a video for the album’s title track, which also opens the album.

L-R – Jeff Calder – Guitars, Adam Semler – Bass & Vocals, Neil Grandy – Drums, Mitchi Dimitriadis – Vocals

As described by the band:

“The album’s narrative follows a protagonist grappling with oppressive forces, leading to a summoning of the ancients who rise to liberate the tormented from their prolonged suffering. Plunged into an endless abyss, the tormented emerge upon a desolate shore, surrounded by aimless souls.

“In a quest for liberation, the damned are ferried across by Charon who must navigate treacherous planes, confronting challenges from demons above and lurking waters below. Their odyssey takes them across the enigmatic river Styx, lured by the ancients toward Necropia, where ultimate judgment awaits.”

And regarding the song you’re about to hear, the band provide this description:

“In a world where the forces of power wield their influence over the masses and various factions rise in rebellion, a hidden force emerges. The Ancients, beings of age-old wisdom and insight, remain concealed yet vigilant, observing the turmoil that engulfs the populace. They are attuned to the potential futures that unfold, especially those of the tormented souls who question their destined path amidst the anguish.”

Hatred Reigns play to their strengths on this album opener, delivering speed and fury, but impressive agility as well as aggression. They unleash madness in the viciously sizzling and skittering riffage and ruthlessness in the bone-smashing hammer blows that segment the frenzies, and the monstrous guttural growls expel the words in barks that are almost as fast as the backing instrumentation.

But the band also switch things up, slowing the tempo and injecting weirdly swirling arpeggios and then hitting the accelerator to bring forth an even more demented and delirious escapade, this time fronted by crazed screams and screeches as well as gritty growls, and propelled to further heights of lunacy by a fret-melter of a solo and bursts of maniacal drum battery.

When the band decelerate again, the chords elevate it into an otherworldly realm, both menacing and haunting, and the band also layer in a little bass solo, a few humongous bass drops, and a hulking, lurching stomp. But of course they go back into the fast lane for one last burst of high-adrenaline barbarity as the song surges to the end.

The fast-cutting video provides some frightening imagery, but mainly gives listeners a good chance of what it’s like to see these technically accomplished hellions in a live setting.

Awaken The Ancients was recorded at DMS Studios, engineered and produced by the band. It was mixed and mastered by Mitchi Dimitriadis at Dark Moon Productions “with the masterful assistance of Joe ‘Moon’ Lyko“.

The striking cover art, which is in line with the album’s conceptual narrative, is the work of Pedro “Lordigan” Sena.

The album is being released digitally and it’s available for pre-save and pre-order now. It comes recommended for fans of Cryptopsy, Suffocation, Origin, Carcass, and Behemoth. Below we’re also including a video for anther song off the album, “Departing Acheron“.

And in other very timely news, Hatred Reigns is opening for Kataklysm tonight at The Brass Monkey in Ottawa.




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