Ballet of the Brute (Century Media)
by Martin Popoff
Onto their third album, Denmark’s Hatesphere crank out signature Scando-thrash with an emphasis toward faster, more claustrophobic and intimate American hardcore moshing. Which makes “Only the Strongest…” a shockingly welcome doomy track right in the middle of the madness; “Last Cut, Last Head” also pleasing the ear with its hint at melody over a mid-paced groove. One of the changes for this album was the acquisition of drummer Ander Gyldenohr, and I must say, he propels these heads-down roar-corers with aplomb, his meticulous fills and crisp tom sounds pushing this a cut above. Kudos also to power metal guy Tommy Hansen, who produces cannily, balancing edge with bass perfectly, as required, but also as per the usual high standards impressed upon this style. The result? A great record for those who can’t get enough, but unnecessary for those who only sample from this well and want the five best, or five with personal idiosyncrasies. Closes with an amusing, almost unrecognizable cover of “Bark at the Moon,” sped up and black’n’blue battered to a teeming mass of quick picks.