"Liars, Bastards"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Apparently this record is not new...but it is to me, and, I suspect, to 99% of those reading these words. With the band name and album title, I was expecting punky sludge metal or maybe balls out thrash, but instead, this is a very gloomy and depressing bit of synth-heavy industrial music.

If you're in the mood for this sort of thing, "Liars, Bastards" is pretty strong meat. It definitely creates an oppressive mood without guitars. And each song has a distinct feel to it. Opener "Maze of Bastards" relies on very deep and bassy synth tones mixed with savage military drumming and harsh vocals. "Culprit" is eerier and more Gothic...something Joy Division or Bauhaus fans may enjoy, albeit with a more propulsive sound. "High Rise" has a Middle Eastern ambience throughout and features ridiculously deep and dramatic vocals that are almost campy in a way.

Guitar shows up very sparingly and piano also puts in sporadic but effective appearances. Hateful Abandon do seem to enjoy creating a kind of rollercoaster album but expect no uplifting tunes. The 11 minute closer "December"  starts as depressing as its name suggests but the second half of the tune is almost pure soundscape and curiously inspiring.

If you can stretch beyond metal and rock to realms of synthetic sound, Hateful Abandon is a name to conjure with. Keep an eye on them.