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4.00 | 2 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2012

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Chapter 1: New Era
2. Black Monday
3. Another World
4. Denied
5. Division Insane
6. Chapter 2: The Phoenix
7. And So We Bleed...
8. The Luxury of Pain
9. Caged
10. Masters of Hate
11. The End


- Ibrahim Stråhlman / Drums
- Markus Joha / Guitars, Vocals
- Pablo Magallanes / Guitars (guest)
- Fredrik Klingwall / Keyboards (guest)
- Ragnar Rage / Bass (guest)

About this release

Abyss Records, March 20, 2012

Thanks to J-Man for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

With Masters of Hate, Swedish extreme metal duo Desultor has made a rather bold entrance into the scene. Unlike many of their fellow countrymen, Desultor does not rely much on old-school aesthetics or melodic overtones to get their point across, and instead the band takes a very modern approach to technical death/thrash and brings it into completely new territory. Masters of Hate is a very intense and demanding album, with its ferocious onslaughts of blast-beats and technical monstrosities hardly leaving the listener with any room to breathe, but the subtle incorporation of melody is what makes this different than many of their technical death/thrash contemporaries. Although Masters of Hate isn't always the most memorable album in my opinion, it's a refreshing change of pace from most of the extreme metal on the scene today.

Even though I will say that Desultor is a refreshing change of pace, that's not to say at all that they're radically different from many other technical death/thrash acts out there from a musical perspective - the riffs are brutal as anything, the compositions are complex, and the drumming is punishing and frantically technical. Where Masters of Hate really deviates from the tried-and-true technical thrash metal approach is in their vocal approach which, in addition to a few growled portions, is mainly cleanly sung and shouted vocals. The vocals sound straight out of the 'thrashy' power metal rulebook, and I actually like this vocal approach quite a bit. The production and playing styles may all point towards a modern-sounding album, but the vocals give a very old-school edge to Desultor's sound. I wish more bands would take this vocal approach rather than relying on indecipherable gutteral growls - it definitely does justice to Desultor's music.

Masters of Hate also contains quite a few really solid compositions ("The Luxury of Pain" and the title track both come to mind), but I would say that this is probably the album's weakest link. While this is an extremely intense listen, Desultor's songwriting doesn't leave enough of a lasting effect to keep me constantly coming back for more. This is a rather minor flaw, though, and it is a skill that hopefully Desultor will develop even more on future efforts. As far as Masters of Hate is concerned, this is an original observation from a group of impeccable musicians, and any fan of technical thrash metal is very much advised to check out what these Swedes have to offer.

Members reviews

Sweden has been spitting out a large wave of bands reviving old school Swedish death metal in the veins of Entombed and Nihilist in recent times, and so receiving Desultor's debut full length album, Masters of Hate left me slightly apprehensive, but the space-themed album artwork and futuristic band logo gave me some hope of this being different from the typical Swedish offering, and finally getting around to listening to this album was a fortunately surprising experience.

Just like the crisp and futuristic album artwork, the music on Masters of Hate is modern, and this is topped by that nice and clean production job on the album. Chapter 1: New Era opens through setting the stage for the rest of the album, with the sound effects that instantly puts one in outer-space, but as Black Monday begins the album proper, one is immediately thrown into a myriad of death metal riffs and punishing blast-beats, all topped up by clean singing vocals. This definitely threw me off slightly, with the high intensity music leaning more towards extreme metal territory and left me almost expecting a death growl to complement it. Surprisingly though, vocalist/guitarist Markus fits extremely well in all the commotion that goes on around, perhaps due to his high-vocal range, or perhaps due to his occasional usage of shrieks and growls throughout the album. Whatever it is, Markus manages to do his job well and the result is an extremely unique-sounding record, and at times it even sounds almost as if it were Control Denied/Pharaoh's Tim Aymar singing in The Project Hate, especially the vocal work on Another World.

While comparisons to bands such as Into Eternity are bound to come, Desultor manages to infuse a more extreme edge in their songwriting and execution, and this is most evident in the drumming of Ibrahim, with the relentless blasting throughout the album. The riffing patterns of Markus also incorporates not only death metal elements, but at times, thrash metal riffs are also spotted, with some of the riffs on Denied sounding like Seek & Destroy but sped up by infinite times, and this is sure to satisfy the hunger of extreme metal fans craving for some speed. However, their superb songwriting skills are proven through the ability to maintain extremely catchy and melodic throughout despite this weird combination of different elements, incorporating huge hooks in their songs such as on Division Insane. The sense of melody is also evident through the melodic lead guitar work of Markus, such as those on The Luxury of Pain.

Masters of Hate has been an excellent debut release by Desultor, and this definitely helps the band live up to their claim to play "murder metal". The clean vocals might require some listeners to take some time to get used to, but this is easily overcome with the superb musicianship on the album. Fans disappointed with Into Eternity's later works, Masters of Hate would instantly satisfy all cravings, and make you not look back into their catalogue anymore.


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