“Hades Rising”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Between the summit of excellence and the yawning abyss of dreadfulness lies the great, vast plain of the Average. It is here where we find most of what takes up our lives, including music. Many of the releases I hear reside there and so it is with Sweden’s Defiatory and their album “Hades Rising”.

The Plain of the Average itself has quite a range to its limits and I would place this album at the upper end. In no way can this be described as bad or slipshod…it just doesn’t do quite enough to distinguish itself. Defiatory’s chosen music is thrash metal, with a strong dosage of classic Bay Area feeling but also some seasoning of melodic death metal and even a pinch of black metal. “In Hell” starts out almost like a Gothenburg export, but when the thrash kicks in, it will take you back to some of Cali’s less famous  exports like Forbidden and Defiance. Fast and precise picking, with twin guitar melody and shredding solos added. The deep bellowing vocals of Martin Runnzel at first serve to separate Defiatory from the pack, because they’re not what you’re expecting, but as the album trundles on, he starts to become a liability more than an asset. He just doesn’t have enough range and continues to bellow when a different twist is called for.

There are definite some good tunes on “Hades Rising”. “Dance of the Dead”, “Metatron” and the title track are all stinging technical thrash with bite. “Death Takes Us All” is short and almost punkish, while “Stronger Than God” is a more measured chugger. All enjoyable but nothing you haven’t heard before…the album runs a little long and stood to have some fat trimmed.

A good thrash release from Defiatory, but nothing essential.