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HOUR OF PENANCE - Sedition cover
4.03 | 13 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 2012


1. Transubstantiatio (0:59)
2. Enlightened Submission (3:39)
3. Decimate the Ancestry of the Only God (4:49)
4. Fall of the Servants (3:20)
5. Ascension (4:04)
6. The Cannibal Gods (3:56)
7. Sedition Through Scorn (3:26)
8. Deprave to Redeem (4:02)
9. Blind Obedience (3:09)

Total Time 31:24


- Giulio Moschini / Guitar
- Simone Piras / Drums
- Silvano Leone / Bass
- Paolo Pieri / Vocals

About this release

Label: Prosthetic Records
Release Date: March 27 (North America), April 2 (U.K.) and April 6, 2012

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Business as usual brutal death metal from this Italian unit. Laudably, it doesn't outlast its welcome, barely scratching over the half hour mark, though I find myself unsatisfied at the end of that half hour. Yes, they're very loud and very aggressive and very brutal, but also very... forgettable. More or less everything they play sounds good at the time I hear it, but it doesn't stick with me and doesn't resonate to the extent that it really needs to in order come across as anything other than a competent retread of the conventions of this particular metal subgenre. Death metal superfans would love this, though.
"Sedition" is the 5th full-length studio album by Italian death metal act Hour of Penance. The album was released through Prosthetic Records in March 2012.

The music on "Sedition" is brutal and technically well played death metal. While the band do change pace on occasion this is generally a furiously fast-paced album. We´re talking hyber blasting of the finest quality. While they somewhat fall under the catagory of technical death metal, Hour of Penance is more "old School" than most other acts that are usually tagged like that. In other words they are closer to the sound of acts like Morbid Angel and Behemoth than they are to the sound of Obscura and their ilk. Hour of Penance are not the type of band who takes prisoners, and with a total playing time of 31:24 minutes "Sedition" is the kind of album that´ll crush your skull with it´s brutal sound and devastating blast beats but at the same time intrigue you with technical details. The brutal growling and mostly unintelligible vocals could have been more varied for my taste, but they get the job done nicely.

"Sedition" features a clear and powerful sound production and along with the excellent musicianship and the solid songwriting this is a pretty strong death metal release. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is warranted.
Sedition is the fifth full-length album released by Italian brutal death metal act Hour of Penance. Since the release of their previous album Paradogma (2010) the band has parted ways with vocalist Francesco Paoli Fleshgod Apocalypse), and brought in Paolo Pieri (Shoreborn, Aborym, Kalki Avatara etc) as a replacement. Pieri also steps up as a second guitarist alongside Giulio Moschini, returning the band to a two guitar line-up as it was with their first two albums. Additionally the band had a new drummer in Simone Piras, who replaced Mauro Mercurio, but by the time of this review has already parted ways with the band himself. Sedition was released in 2012.

Sedition is one of those albums for me where after giving it a single listen I felt very much underwhelmed by the whole experience. I didn’t think the release to be bad or anything but rather one that failed to stand out. Fortunately for both me and Hour of Penance I never write an album off after one listen, and Sedition really opened up to me the second time around. This is brutal death metal with a technical death metal edge to it, carried by strong vocals and an unrelenting force behind the instrumental work.

In fact the only semi-negative thing I have to say is that for the album Hour of Penance went down the path of the brief cliché intro track that in itself doesn’t bring much to the album. It makes for a decent build up to the first proper song, Enlightened Submission, though, I will say that much for it. And from there in it’s all about the death metal.

What I like most about Hour of Penance’s sound here though has to be although at its core it is brutal death metal they don’t just focus on being brutal above all else. There are melodies which I think are very well done with the way they are integrated into the tracks as needed, and that technical edge I mentioned that spices the sound on occasion but doesn’t take it over. And once Enlightened Submission kicks off they are content to bash out songs in this vein one after the other for about half an hour’s worth of music. Not a long album by my own standards but the ideal sort of time I think for the sort of music that Hour of Penance plays since for all intents and purposes Sedition isn’t an album you’d come to for variation (and I don’t think fans of brutal death metal would want it either), and it does its work before it has time to get stale. I find the replay value in Sedition very high because of that.

A grower for sure, I have come to regard Sedition as one of the strongest death metal efforts I’ve encountered so far for 2012. More than that I’ve given the album plenty of listens building up to this review due to my track record of finding these sort of albums to lose their appeal after some time and found that any issues I’ve had with brutal death metal in the past simply do not exist in Sedition. That alone has brought me to regard the release as exceptional but even more than that, it is very well played and the production by Stefano Morabito suits the music so well that as I was writing the main text of this review I realised that despite some early misgivings if I rated the album any lower than a masterpiece tier rating it would be a crime against death metal music.


(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))
Italy’s Hour of Penance have been on an absolute tear lately. They’ve been around since the late ‘90s, but their past two albums, The Vile Conception and Paradogma, have catapulted the band to the front of today’s technical/brutal/insane/whatever death metal scene, and it seems as though they just keep getting better. 2012’s Sedition was released after losing vocalist Francesco Paoli to fellow countrymen Fleshgod Apocalypse and a change in the guitar department, but the band’s direction couldn’t be clearer; extreme metal of the utmost quality, an unrelenting assault whose only objective is to kick your ass. Does it ever…and then some.

Upon first listen, Sedition is probably going to sound a lot like other albums that fall under the tech/brutal death metal category. There’s a guy growling/roaring incomprehensibly (spewing anti-Christian lyrics, as usual), really fast riffage, and more blast beats that you can shake a stick at. And sure, music of this caliber can be hard to get into; those riffs can be hard to pick apart at first, and drummer Simone Piras’ style is, well…a little much for all but the most numb of metalheads. It’s not an album that can be digested immediately-that, you can be sure of.

And yet, there’s something about this album. There’s something that keeps you drawn in after that first listen, something that tells you that Sedition isn’t just another random display of fret-dancing and blast-beating. It’s something that sets Hour of Penance apart from the rest of the repetitive and wanky modern death metal scene, and that will hold its listeners’ interest long enough to discover the hidden jewels that really make this album tick.

…It’s substance. You know, that undefinable “stuff” that makes an album great. It’s there on Sedition; you just don’t know it yet. As best as I can describe it, there are “levels” on this album that accomplish multiple things: the brutality on the surface to appeal to your average death metal fan (or generally angry person), the riffs (which are produced excellently) to get that fan hooked, and the technical prowess and craftsmanship beneath it all, to really make Sedition worthwhile. Hour of Penance just plain know what they’re doing, and know how to make a great death metal album, no matter what bells and whistles may be covering it up.

While there is absolutely zero filler on this album, I’ll choose “Decimate the Ancestry of the Only God” to make my point. Right off the bat, there’s that opening riff: it thunders forward like a freight train on a one-way path to hell, immediately accounting for extreme brutality over Piras’ frantic drumming. Hour of Penance could have stopped there and left the track to be one-dimensional, but no; just 30 seconds in, there’s a lead. It’s sinister, it’s confident, and it immediately changes the dynamics of the song from a straightforward headbanging-fest to something you can actually appreciate. Keep listening, and you’ll come across that same lead 3 minutes in; this time, it builds and builds, howling in agony, but over that riff, it couldn’t feel more right. Hour of Penance perfectly captures what it’s like to be both the torturer and the tortured, all in less than 5 minutes of some of the best death metal you’ll ever hear.

Of course, that’s only one track. Sedition has 9 of them (including a short intro; normally, I don’t like these, but the mood this one sets is impeccable), and they all accomplish more or less the same thing: encapsulate brutality and technicality in the perfect ratio, all while showing off the band’s artistry. This is, without a doubt, an album that will continue to grow on you; with Sedition, Hour of Penance have managed to transcend all of those silly subgenres, writing an album that fulfills everything death metal stands for, while standing as a mind-blowing piece of music in its own right. If you’re a fan of the extreme side of music, you’d be wise to pick this one up.

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