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Friday, November 27, 2020

Review: Hadal – December

Label: Planet K Records

Date: December 5th, 2020

Upon investigating this record, I’ve found one interesting thing. A couple of tracks from this record have already appeared on the band’s two demo releases. It wouldn’t be such a curiosity if those demos weren’t released six and eight years ago. And if there wasn’t another full length record in between the demos and “December”. It would be interesting to find out if these songs were re-arranged, re-created or something similar. I failed to find that information.

Anyway, “December” is upon us, the second full record by this Italian quintet.

Hadal offers an already tried and tested formula of creation. Gothic, doom, death metal with emphasis on the doom part. Death metal appears as a side dish. Even hints of melancholic post black metal surface on occasion. However, doom metal remains the name of the game here. Unfortunately, the album sticks firmly to the standards of the genre. Mostly slow, always heavy tracks, with ever-present melodic lead guitars that make for the atmospheric part of the record.

The unfortunate part is that it has all been heard before. The effort to make a personal imprint on the genre’s principles has gone fruitless. The one thing that sticks out on “December” is the clean vocal. Not even the beastly growls. Only the clean one that bears a specific timbre to it. Funny, but it reminded me of Scott Stapp. However incredible it may sound, such an emotional and melancholic vocal style fits perfectly to Hadal.

It remains obvious these guys have a long history of following the traces left behind by My Dying Bride and the likes. Also, their home country heroes Lacuna Coil provide another guiding light for Hadal.

Still, it needs to be said that though “December” is quite a decent record, it lacks a touch of Hadal’s own imagination. Doom fans are not known for their too picky nature, so this record might just generate enough attention. Especially since all the standards of the genre have been duly respected. Yet, the fact is that stardom is far away from the Italians. They have yet to find a way to leave a lasting mark.