Band: Hanging Fortress
Album: Darkness Devours
Genre: Death Metal/Hardcore
Release Date: 6th of November, 2020
Released via: Redefining Darkness Records
Cover Artwork: © Anthony Orosz and Jimmy Smo
Because I had a little time to waste, I checked Bandcamp for some latest releases and with Hanging Fortress I actually found a band to which I gave my full attention and which ended my search quite quickly. With their debut album Darkness Devours, the Ohio-based combo pulls out all the stops when it comes to hardcore meets death metal and shoots a brilliant longplayer that doesn’t need to hide from Gatecreeper, Fuming Mouth and other current bands from the genre.
With Hanging Fortress you should be warned about the colossal growls alone, because they sound so disgusting that you have to digest it before you take on the instrumental part, which is – little spoiler – at least as evil as the vocals. The foundation of the songs is definitly made by Old School Death Metal of the American school, which is rather viscous and extremely waltzing and tries as violently as possible to penetrate the ears of the listener. So you will see midtempo is rarely exceeded, but there are still some blast-elements to be admired.
While the drumming is much more groovy and hardcore than the rest of the instruments, the guitars deliver everything you could wish for, from classic HM2 riffing to metallic melodies and mechanical shrill tones. Especially the melodies stand out and give the deliberately dull sound a pleasant note without appearing dissonant. On the drums, the distinctive cymbal play causes a furore and intensifies the mosh passages as much as the bloodcurdling breaks. Darkness Devours creates a good bridge between Obituary, Cannibal Corpse and modern bands of the genre in my opinion without sounding like the fiftieth copy of it and comes in excellent sound quality, which perfectly captures instruments and dark scenery.
So far there is only one CD-release available on Redefining Darkness Records, but this beast should definitely be released on vinyl and/or cassette due to its quality and will certainly cover the formats sooner or later. If you want to have Cannibal Corpse-core with a psychopathic knife-stabbing attitude, you should definitely listen to Hanging Fortress, there is no question about it. Darkness Devours is a true soundtrack for the last fight with yourself, where you just want to let out all the shit you carry around with you in your everyday life. In short, an absolute must listen record for all fans of hardcore death metal especially because of it’s sensationally good drumming!
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