Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hemoptysis - Misanthropic Slaughter

Misanthropic Slaughter
Independent Release

With thrash metal having well and truly made a comeback over the last ten years, it really hasn’t come as any surprise to see a whole new generation of metal fans trying their hand at taking the classic thrash metal sound of old and giving it a new twist and calling it their own. While some have managed to recreate the classic sounds of the past quite well (Evile, Bonded By Blood and Warbringer are just three names that spring to mind), there are some that just simply don’t come close to measuring up, or make the mistake of modernising their sound so much that it’s hard to recognise it as thrash. In other words, finding a thrash metal act that actually lives up to the thrash standard laid down by the acts of thrash’s heyday is a real challenge.
But one name that should definitely be included in the short list of acts that have managed to capture the essence and fell of classic thrash is Hemoptysis. Founded back in 2007, Hemoptysis have to date managed to release an E.P. (2008’s ‘Who Needs A Shepherd?’), which earned the Tempe (Arizona, U.S.) based act some considerable praise at the time. But after a lengthy three years away, the four piece act (Comprising of vocalist/lead/rhythm guitarist Masaki Murashita, ex-Excessive Bleeding lead guitarist Ryan Miller, bassist Sunao ‘Ren’ Arai and drummer Travis Thune) are back with their debut full-length effort ‘Misanthropic Slaughter’. And it’s a killer!
The album opens up with the title track ‘Misanthropic Slaughter’, and within its first minute, there’s no denying the band is here to thrash. Unlike a lot of so-called thrash acts, Hemoptysis’ sound is far from one dimensional, with the diversity of riffs from Murashita and Miller both varied and catchy, and the song itself memorable and classic in style. Vocally, Murashita adds plenty of aggression to the mix with a style that brings to mind Kreator front man Mille Petrozza, while the songs solos are well thought out and executed.
As good as the opener is, it’s the follow-up tracks ‘Hopeless’ and ‘M.O.D.’ that really showcase the band’s strength in their song writing, with the former a mid-paced monster that features some glean clean lead work, and the latter that features a darker/melodic death metal tone in places, and virtually annihilates everything in its path.
From here, the band maintains the bar set by the album’s opening three tracks, with the groove based ‘And The World Dies’ (A track that’s been re-recorded from their first E.P.), the savage battering of ‘The Cycle’, the classic sounding ‘Shadow Of Death’ (Which is another re-recorded effort from their debut E.P., and the first song to be given the promotional video clip treatment) and the superb dual-tempo epic closer ‘End Of Sorrow’ just some of the many highlights dotted throughout the album.
Although the band haven’t quite mastered their overall sound on ‘Misanthropic Slaughter’ (Some of the songs seem to veer off the traditional thrash path to take on a more groove orientated direction, or include some death metal influences at times), it’s hard to ignore the high quality of songs and performance that are present on Hemoptysis’ debut effort.
There’s a whole host of newcomers on today’s thrash scene, but few rarely qualify as the real deal. Hemoptysis is definitely the exception, and by far one of the most promising unsigned acts in the as thrash scene today. To sum all this up - ‘Misanthropic Slaughter’ is one hell of an album.

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© Justin Donnelly