Hour of Penance - Paradogma (Unique Leader/Stomp)

Whilst the Catholic Church is in turmoil, Hour of Penance celebrates!

When I first purchased Hour of Penance's 2008 album, The Vile Conception, it was on a pure whim: I thought the logo was pretty cool. That is a fairly old-school reason to get a disc, but I was not let down when I gave the album a spin.
 
The same can be said to great measure in regards to the newest opus, 2010's Paradogma. Hailing from the land of crotch-grabbing, Mafioso, eternal guilt, and satin clad leerers (Italy), Hour of Penance offer up a communal feast of incessant death metal that takes no quarter. Having in no small measure healthy but original doses of Morbid Angel, Nile, Hate Eternal, these Mediterranean merchants of mayhem infuse this sound with their own take on the style, which is uncompromising.
 
From the ominous intro of the title track Paradogma, which is like the herald angel of ill winds, you know exactly what you are in for………. blasphemy. With themes of anti-Christianity, social ills and misanthropic leanings, Hour of Penance sure do stick to their guns. By the time you come to terms with the first couple of songs, you are at The Woeful Eucharisty; this is a chaotic multilayered song with machine gun drumming, hectic riffs and rabid vocal delivery.
 
The drumming of Mauro Mecurio is by-the-books modern death metal. Think of the bands I mentioned earlier and this will give you a rough idea of where I am heading. He lays down beats and flows so fast and precise you could not doubt him having bionic limbs. But by the same token, he can slow it down and work his double bass like a nun works a belt on an orphan.
 
The guitars of Giulio Moschini are pin point, sweeping and harmonic. His solos, which there are few of, are also very powerful and pierce you like the Spear of Longinus did the ribs of the Christ. A prime show of this is track number seven, Adversary of Bigotry.
 
Under it all is the solid bass work of Silvano Leone, he rumbles away like a cement mixer on speed. His tone is more kin to a Shane Embry or Will Rahmer, a grindy hum that adds essence rather than being too overdone.
 
The vocals of Francesco Paoli are trademark death metal. His tone is a nice mid-range bellow, similar to a latter-day Glen Benton. His enunciation of the apostasy that is the lyrics, is clear and passionate. You could almost forego the lyric sheet and get away with understanding a fair amount of the words.
 
If you enjoy modern death metal of the American variety, but with an unknown element that holds your interest, I strongly suggest you get you hands on this album, or any album by this band. You will not be disappointed. (Yes, that is a big call, one I will deny all knowledge of).

Hour of Penance's Paradogma is out now on Unique Leader/Stomp.