Bitter, biting and a bastard of the highest order…
Review by Jason Guest
Release date: 9 September 2014
At last! San Antonio’s Hod – that’s Hod, from the Norse god Hodur, not HOD or H.O.D. or some other acronym or abbreviation; got it? – are about to deliver album number two, Book Of The Worm. With their last full length being 2009’s Serpents, other than a compilation of earlier material released in 2014, last year’s incredible The Uncreated Demo (reviewed here) was all that we had to gnaw on while we awaited their next assault. And all that was promised by that three-track demo has been delivered.
Maniacally irrepressible riffs are slammed together with amphetamine-crazed, blast beat-dripping drumming and demonic vokills (yes, “kills”!) drawn from the putrid, rotting, cesspits of black, death, and grind to form an ‘orrible ‘ybrid that is ruthless, rancid, and remorseless. From the over-before-you-know-it two-minute salvo of ‘I Am Destroyer’ to the near-six minute devastation of ‘Under Tyranny’s Hammer’, Book Of The Worm is bitter, biting and a bastard of the highest order.
The three tracks from The Uncreated Demo have been re-recorded and are even more tightly focussed, the minor modifications – cutting the fleeting drum intro of ‘I Am Destroyer’ by an eighth of a beat, for instance – demonstrating just how ruthless their attitude to destruction actually is. The lead work across the album may well be sparse but each concentrated burst of belligerence fuels the aggression as well as the album’s atmospherics.
By ‘Through The Gates (They Came For Me)’, even though the structural similarities of the tracks across the album start to become more apparent, the album remains as pernicious and pestilential as the first bite from opener ‘When The Ghouls Feed’. Bludgeoning throughout, Hod refuse to let up. When Hod do slow the tempo – only very slightly – in ‘Under Tyranny’s Hammer’, it’s for a mid-section of more intricate yet no less heavy guitar riffs that are more traditional metal with some brief lead work augmenting the miasmic texture.
With a production that is simultaneously raw and precise, the answer to the question ‘Where Are The Demons’ is, right fucking here! Slaying all those that dare cross their path and leaving them to rot ‘Beneath The Mountains Of The Scorpion’. “Are Hod coming out to play?” said no one, ever…
8 out of 10
- When The Ghouls Feed
- Den Of Wolves
- I Am Destroyer
- Through The Gates (They Came For Me)
- Death Whores
- Under Tyranny’s Hammer
- Where Are The Demons
- Beneath The Mountains Of The Scorpion