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Album Review: Handful Of Hate – Adversus

Black metal is something I’ve been wanting to regain a love for in the past couple of months. May have taken some time, but Handful Of Hate are a band that satisfy that desire perfectly. They’ve been around for a couple of decades, with Adversus being their seventh release, and what really struck me was the accessibility of the slower riffs that kick off the first track, “An Eagle Upon My Shield.”

This would give way to the more traditional sounding tracks, acting as the perfect descend into the gray cloud of raspy shrieks, blast beats, and extreme speed-picking. “Celebrate Consume….Burn!” is saturated with all of this, delivered swiftly and layered so well that everything comes through at the ideal elevation. Much to my surprise, guitar solos become a prominent feature and riding on the rails of stellar drum work that exceeds lightning speed gives them such a strong flavor.

Overall there aren’t very many breaks of this flow or tread on the slower territory that I mentioned before, but every now and then a breather is needed. “Idols To Hung” is wrung dry of the lightning riff construct and intense speeds, but others like “Thorns To Redemption” bring this tactic into even better light, particularly the second half. The drums maintain wild machine-gun like kicks but are instead topped with epic tremolo riffs that slowly ascend into an alluring feeling in the darkest of ways.

Really, Adversus is incredible from cover to cover. A lot of it doesn’t differ much from what black metal is all about, but something about the way that this one was laid out really struck my fancy. The level of depth that it reaches, the warm feeling in the overall delivery, and the consistency all made this sit very well. Greatly recommended to those new to the genre.

Adversus will be out on May 10th, 2019 through Code666.

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