AlbumsMarch 18, 20242,964 views

Hideous Divinity Unextinct


Unextinct
1. Dust Settles On Humanity 2. The Numinous One 3. Against The Sovereignty Of Mankind 4. Atto Quarto: The Horror Paradox 5. Quasi-Sentient 6. Hair, Dirt, Mud 7. More Than Many, Never One 8. Der Verlorene Sohn 9. Mysterium Tremendum 10. Leben Ohne Feuer
2024 Century Media Records
Our score 7

3/18/2024

You can just tell when it’s Italian metal, right? So many extreme metal bands from that country have a very distinct sound much like France, Sweden, Norway, etc. - Italian metal DNA seems to be made up of a particular type of speed and aggression, especially when the metal gets technical. One band of this ilk to look to for reliability in the last decade are Hideous Divinity.

Combining a high level of complexity with fierce darkness thematically and sonically, they carry a palpable immediacy. Though there’s a good amount of detours and asides in their album for atmospheric purposes, the core is always the same: stick-splintering drumming, ultra-fast riffing coupled with more melodic sections with neither feeling soulless, and searing vocals. There’s also a general air of fantasy that’s almost exclusive to Italy, a country with a rich history and legacy for being the center of many of the world’s greater cultural movements and advancements.

In that sense, I guess you could argue they come from a very particular pool of creative primordial ooze, weaving tales of grandeur into work with ease. Unextinct is just that. Based loosely on the stories of Dracula and Nosferatu, the album explores a primal world that exists in unison to ours. It’s not for us, but we always teeter in the balance of it, in spite of “nature’s true nature”, as the band puts it, which has no morality, it simply exists in the shadows of mankind, unextinct.

And these are particularly the kinds of feelings conjured up by the quartet on “Mysterium Tremendum”, a single from early last year, but has since been spiced up and re-recorded for the album. Agile musicianship gives way to a story of a blackened world of foul beasts risen with havoc in mind, not for malevolence’s sake, simply because their nature dictates it. Guitars act like potent mana that give the song life - they’re relatively simple compared to other songs, but still carry a significant weight and I love the brief, higher melody at the end of a couple of the verses that give the track an expansiveness that sounds so good.

It feels like Hideous Divinity really tried to broaden their soundscapes a bit more with Unextinct like on “Atto Quarto: The Horror Paradox” where the expansiveness is even more apparent. I mean, it better be at over eight minutes long, but it makes good on the time with a lot of sonic diversity and memorable sections that are certainly horrific in the truest sense. It’s all a little dramatic, but it wouldn’t be Italian otherwise. The same goes for “Against The Sovereignty Of Mankind” which is probably my favorite single (“The Numinous One” is also pretty good), held aloft by a great solo and sense of progression. It gives the same sort of vibes I used to get from Dimmu Borgir songs when I was younger and didn’t know any better.

With music this dense, I’m glad we’re afforded a few calmer moments with “Hair, Dirt, Mud” which feels transitional between the album’s two halves.”Dust Settles In Humanity” introduces Unextinct with glorious, blackened instrumentation and atmosphere that claw at the fabric of reality, tearing open portals to the hellworlds we’re shown throughout the album. Near the end and right before “Mysterium Tremendum”, we get “Der Verlorene Sohn” (‘The Prodigal Son’ in German) which is cosmic in nature, short and warped by all the damage done in songs prior, but a good break to brace you for the last two dense, theatrical songs.

2017’s Adveniens and 2019’s Simulacrum are pretty good albums, not impossible to beat by any means, but a solid bar for a band to have when it comes to measuring other works. Unextinct surpasses both by devoting more time and energy to creating a more fleshed-out world and guiding us through it cinematically and a semblance of care. Still, the metal that’s here sometimes edges too close to samey with itself and other bands in this genre. People that indulge in technical metal often may not find themselves too persuaded by the things that Hideous Divinity do well, but I think it’s uniform enough to give it a try if anything I’ve said piques interest.

Bottom Line: I am neither disappointed or blown away by Unextinct, but perfectly happy with its imperfection. It has unbridled technicality that feels written and considered more often than not, the atmo is on point, lyrics dark, and instrumentation solid. Hideous Divinity still sound held down by the demons of metal tropes though. This album shows a notable increase in care and style - I hope they can elevate some more substance into the mix next time for a truly great album.


4 comments

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anonymous 33 days ago

ZULU VALUE JUST KEEPS GOING UP

anonymous 33 days ago

Mama Mia a 7?! Oooooo that's not a Zulu level at all!

anonymous 31 days ago

" the atmo is on point" Your gayness is on point

anonymous 27 days ago

Oh dickrod, you old devil! Nice try, but no cigar