without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
How the fuck could I get excited about the doings of ex-To/Die/For members? Well, I didn't when I picked this one up. I just knew this was something different than goth metal, namely thrash metal.
First known as a Slayer tribute band named Dead/Skin/Mask, guys decided to pen down their own thrash metal songs. Keeping it simple and of course aggressive, ten songs were created for this debut album. Described as a modern interpretation of Slayer and Kreator, and that's well put, but I'd add Sodom to that list. Certainly more old-skull than The Haunted, for example. HateFrame do nothing unique, nothing. Still, I'd pick up this before the shoddiest albums of the above-named legends. There are some good songs here, and no bad ones, so that's something. Here's my pick of three favourites: Ass-kicker 'Crowned in Blood', creeping and Sodom-esque 'Feeding the Flame' and brain-sticker 'Hallucinate' with its twin guitar work. So, some of the songs are very Slayer-esque, e.g. 'Bloodfeast', which leaves no space for wondering HateFrame's main influence, but of course this is still million miles from the caliber of 1986 slaughter-fests 'Reign in Blood' or 'Pleasure to Kill'.
The band's performance is brisk and sound is ass-kicking, if somewhat blunt, but at least the guitars sound biting. The vocals are a mixture between Sodom's Tom Angelripoper and HC-style shouting. I'm a bit surprised, that the latter influence does not annoy me, as that style usually does. The lyrical content was picked straight from the cook book of thrash metal: Terrorism, Nazis, insanity, revenge, war, you just name it! There are some annoying flaws in the mixing or/and the mastering of this album, as 'Feeding the Flame' ends between a vocals line and there are some stupid ill-placed sounds in the beginning of 'Perfect Hate'. The volume level swerves at times, which is unforgivable. The sound is has quite boxy feel to it, but still, is well enough balanced between the elements.
This kind of stuff has been made so much worse than HateFrame do, but also much, much better. So should you pick a six-pack of beer or 'Sign of Demise'? Pick up this album and steal those beers, because you'd get thirsty while listening to this fucker!
(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2006)