Inhuman Hate - Merciless Misanthropic
Obscure Abhorrence
Black Metal
8 songs (50:40)
Release year: 2008
Inhuman Hate, Obscure Abhorrence
Reviewed by James

Computers in black metal are certainly not uncommon, particularly in a genre where the musicians are simply too underground to afford proper studios, but it's rare to find a record as digital sounding as Inhuman Hate's Merciless Misanthropic. Right off the bat, the record is almost crippled by a production that means the record doesn't just sound like it's been recorded by a computer, but has actually been made by a computer (insert groan-worthy joke about the band being inhuman here). Even in a genre known for bad production, Merciless Misanthropic sounds utterly shocking, the drums sounding like they've been made using a Game Boy (and these are apparently live instruments!).

Once you get around the lifeless, flattened sound, there's some enjoyment to be gleaned from the record. The band's particular brand of depressive black metal throws out some pretty decent sorrowful melodies, particularly when the digital distortion is stripped away, to be replaced by er... digital chorusing effects. The band are a bit more aggressive than your usual Xasthur clones, and the likes of Bluttaufe contain some chugging riffage along with the usual depressive moping. The drums can rise above the 8-bit production to whip up a nice bit of double-bass bluster when provoked. Vocalist I has a suitably commanding growl, and it's fair to say his vocals are the best part of the album, if only because he doesn't sound like a robot.

Merciless Misanthropic certainly has some good points, but everything about it, right down to the weird and amateurish cover art, feels like a rush job. Most songs seem like they're an excuse to use one good riff the band had stored up, (which usually turns up at the end, weirdly) with the rest of the song going nowhere, apart from the more pleasing clean sections. Wirre Gedanken is the worst offender, using 4 and a half minutes of ambient noodling to get to three minutes of good music. Merciless Misanthropic follows just a year after the band's debut, and I can't help but feel the band could have spent a little (well, a lot) longer working on these songs, rather than strapping just-about-functional riffs together and seeing if it sticks. Only Rush Of The Inner Force properly works, going for a more Darkthrone-esque vibe. And when you've made your best song by ripping off another band, what's the point?

Merciless Misanthropic isn't all bad, but it's not good either, and feels a bit unnecessary when the band had only just released their debut. It certainly has the potential to be a good record, and I can't help but feel it could have been so much better if the band had taken their time with it. As it stands, it's a reminder of what happens when clearly talented musicians get too eager to strike while the iron is hot.

Killing Songs :
Rush Of The Inner Force
James quoted 52 / 100
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