Harvest of Malevolence is a shining example of why less is more. Hyperdontia have written, performed, and recorded their best album yet and some of the finest death metal of this generation.

Release date: June 21, 2024 | Dark Descent | Instagram | Facebook | Bandcamp

Death metal, you beautiful bastard. Guttural vocals, scathing riffs, frenetic solos, thumping bass, blast beats…really what more could you want? As with any genre, however, there are those who excel at arranging the building blocks of a certain style at a level which leaves their contemporaries scrambling to catch up. Since their first EP, Abhorrence Veil, this is the path on which Hyperdontia have been set as with each subsequent release there has been a notable, if not subtle honing of their sound. Harvest of Malevolence is only their third LP and this is the one that feels like a fully realized vision of what they wish to say and do as an entity.

Their debut, the aptly titled Nexus of Teeth, was a solid and promising debut but the following Hideous Entity showed a band that had decided to tighten up everything from the production to the songwriting. Harvest of Malevolence feels very much like a sequel to the previous album in many aesthetic ways by keeping mostly the same production staff and cover artist. That being said, this new album is not just a retread of what came before, it’s a refinement.

From the very start, Hypderdontia are aiming to kick all of those extra teeth in your mouth. “Death’s Embrace” begins the dental demolition and this may be the finest opening track of their career and one of the best I have heard this year. It’s just an absolute stomper. What also becomes immediately clear is just how much the production on this album slaps. That’s right, it slaps. One of the many things that I hope for when I listen to a death metal record is to not only feel the bass but to also be able to hear the bassist’s performance and I am happy to report that Harvest of Malevolence features one of the best mixes I’ve ever heard on a death metal album. The splash of the cymbals, the crunch of the guitars, the thump of each bass note, and of course the vocals are all aligned in such a way that I think it’d be damn near impossible to find a flaw with this album’s production.

Aside from sounding so damn perfect, this record moves at a pace that is also near-perfect. While there are a lot of tracks that lean into the thrash roots of death metal such as “Pervasive Rot”, “Marking the Rite”, and the aforementioned opening song, the rest of the tracklist is balanced well by employing varying tempos. “Pestering Lamentation” and “Defame Flesh” take the tempo down without slowing the album to a stop in little moments before the pedal is mashed to the floor once again. I cannot stress how easy this album is to listen to as well. If there is one criticism to be levied at Harvest of Malevolence it could be that almost every song seems very much the same length because that’s very close to being 100% true. However, given the variety within each minute of these songs, there’s no loss of quality.

It’s at this point you may think that I’m gonna call this one of the best death metal records of the year and that you should listen to it. Good guess. What makes this album crack and sizzle, however, isn’t fresh new ideas or some microgenre melding that just so happens to hit a few new notes. Death metal is simple and it doesn’t take much to push a band outside of what I’d personally classify as such. Herein lies the conundrum. With only a few ingredients to throw into the sonic pot, what becomes evident is that the quality of these ingredients makes all of the difference. Hyperdontia, in this scenario, are master chefs. This isn’t a flashy album that is weighed down with experimentation. Harvest of Malevolence is a record that uses only the highest quality riffs, blasts, hooks, and grooves. I can’t tell you how many times this album has stopped me in my tracks with just how damn good it is. This is the best purely death metal album that I have heard in a long time, probably since Malignant Altar (RIP) released Realms of Exquisite Morbidity. If someone were to ask me for a shining example of the current state of death metal, I’d happily hand them a copy of Harvest of Malevolence, it’s simply that great.

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