Melbourne death metal band, Hadal Maw released their second album (OLM) on February 3rd, 2017 via EVP Recordings. This record is the first featuring their new vocalist Sam Dillon who joined the band in November of 2015.
From the moment the earth-shattering drums kick into Leviathan, Hadal Maw are setting the bar early for themselves. Effectively only an intro, it’s an impressive sounding start & one that doesn’t quite prepare you for what follows.
The death metal sound with a metalcore edge (think Lamb of God) isn’t exactly exciting & the vocals are far too familiar to enjoy. Affluenza is a crushing slice of metal pie, its beat-laden & worthy of a head-bang or two. It’s just that something feels a bit…off.
Things improve a bit on Failed Harvest, the more shouty style of vocals & a killer bass line just excite so much more. While Witch Doctor’s rolling drum beat is just stellar stuff.
There are moments throughout OLM, moments that really threaten to push this album from good into great territory. It’s just a pity that they’re too few & far between. What we have here are 10 tracks of good, slamming heavy metal that you’re unlikely to remember in 6 months time.
Tracks like False King & The Olm play out & you’ll quickly realise that you didn’t take much on board at all.
Things take a shift in a much more positive direction with the lengthy Simian Plague. A song that really plays around with the formula that’s been set so far. Imaginative hooks, shifts in sound, a little bit disjointed but with a great overlay beat. It’s almost like listening to a different band if it wasn’t for the vocals. However, even those up the intensity, delivering some of the best screams & roars of the album.
The album finishes off as it begun with Hyena & Circus of Flesh. The former is a short, fast-paced song that sounds uninspired…metal by numbers. While the latter doesn’t start strongly but ends up having some sudden shifts in sound & heaviness that perk the ears up. It’s a strong finish to a good slab of death metal.
OLM Full Track Listing:
3. Failed Harvest
4. Witch Doctor
5. False King
6. The Olm
7. Simian Plague
10. Circus of Flesh
Hadal Maw - OLM (EVP Recordings)
The Final Score - 7/10
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