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Hour of Penance – Sedition

If you want to understand Hour of Penance’s philosophy on music, do the following: find an old Big Block muscle car. Europeans can use a supercar. Suicidals can use a liter bike. Either way, strap yourself in and wake the monster up. Find a stoplight or a drag strip, hold the revs, and slip the clutch. You’ll be slammed into the seat and the world will spin in reverse.

That’s how a song starts on Sedition. Instant sound, acceleration, violence. A few months ago, I reviewed Krisiun’s The Great Execution. I noted that Krisiun no longer worship at the altar of velocity. To help quantify Krisiun’s change in direction, I measured how long they spent playing a song before defaulting to double bass and blast beats. I did this for several of their albums. Excluding the acoustic track, the nine songs on the band’s 2001 album, Ageless Venomous, featured a total of  45 seconds of intro before Krisiun got down to business.

Sedition walks Ageless. Sedition features just 16 seconds of intro playing — 13 of which are on “Ascension.” Sedition is the 454 Camaro owned by that guy your brother’s uncle’s dog’s cousin knows. Ageless is the raggedy GTI owned by your neighbor…you know, the kid with the ICP shirt and the cap that’s always sideways.

Hour of Penance’s sound and philosophy is straight-line speed, and Sedition is their fastest album yet. There are no corners or chicanes to turn it into tech death. Since it’s not an endless left-hand turn, it’s not brutal death metal. It’s nine blasts down the drag strip with no cool downs. “Ascension” is the slowest song, but it feels like a drag with a clogged carburetor rather than a change of pace. If anything, new drummer Simon Piras has helped push the band to greater speeds. He’s at least as quick as Mauro Mercurio.

Metal needs a band that pursues speed for speed’s sake. So, to my fellow speed freaks, I say this: Hour of Penance is our salvation. They always have been, but we didn’t need them until recently. They will oblige our need for speed. They are Behemoth with a supercharger and a big block swap.

Sedition‘s speed might be too much. Drive fast enough, and the scenery becomes a blur. People searching for the next Incantation clone or Entombed-a-like are going to experience Sedition as a blur. Sometimes, I do as well. I don’t always choose speed, but when I do, I prefer Hour of Penance. Stay fast and furious, my friends.

—Richard Street-Jammer

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Hour of Penance – “Decimate the Ancestry of the Only God”

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Hour of Penance – “Ascension”

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Amazon (CD)

Amazon (Mp3)

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