MASTABAH - I Hate You (Self released CD 2014)
I honestly am not so familiar with Mastabah previous releases, which were “Purity” EP 2007 and “Quintessence of Evil” 2010 album. I think I’ve never heard anything from these materials and probably everything I know about this band is that they were formed after Dark Legion split up (and that was a band I know about a little bit more, as they had couple of full length albums released a decade and over ago for Deadsun Records). So, I was quite happy to discover that Mastabah was kind enough and sent me their newest album “I Hate You”. Finally I had a chance to listen to their music and see if all these positive opinions on this band were true or not.
And well, I have listened to “I Hate You” several times and I can’t shake off, but think that I have quite mixed feelings and opinion on this album. To be more precise – there are things on it I like a lot, but also there’s something what disturbs and bothers me, so in the end I can’t say that I like this music fully.
Let me start with the positives… and the main one is definitely the uncompromising, extreme side of Mastabah. During a great part of “I Hate You” Mastabah offers a vicious, extremely brutal and aggressive death metal, with many deadly fast, blasting parts, crushing wall of death metal riffing and awesome, obscure and ghastly growling vocals. As such Mastabah doesn’t remind me any particular bands, but maybe some small resemblances to such Krisiun or maybe even Nile can be noticed, but at the same time if you listen to their song structures, riffs, rhythm and tempo changes carefully, then it may turn out that “I Hate You” is surely not a bare, plain and simple copy of the mentioned bands, but something more than that. Anyway, such tracks as “Spectacle of Human Existence”, “Path to the Unknown” and “Danse Macabre” are fine examples for what I like in this album the most. Great guitar work, truly awesome drumming (especially those blasts and the double bass work!), some good (but also few worse) vocals… I also like some truly amazing fragments in “The Way from the Grave”.
But now the side of Mastabah, which I like less… One thing are those shrieking vocals, which I already mentioned… I just don’t like them at all. And the other one is little bit difficult to describe, but it starts with such songs as “Etude Op IV No 3” (which actually is more like an instrumental song, really, as the vocal parts are very few here…) and “Undead Orchestra”, where you can find some particular riffs, rhythms (which sometimes sound almost like a death-whatever you call it-core kind of modern extreme band) or arrangements within them, which are completely not in my liking. They sound like kind of modern death metal and I really am not a great fan of such playing at all, sorry to say. Sure, such parts do make the whole album more diverse, which many listeners will take as a good point, but variety is one thing, personal likings is another. So, in the end I am far from feeling a total enthusiasm for “I Hate You” and I am quite torn between liking and disliking it. My opinions differ from song to song and what else can I add… Nowadays there just so many better death metal albums in my opinion that I am afraid “I Hate You” will quickly get covered with dust on my shelf.
Standout tracks: “Spectacle of Human Existence”, “Path to the Unknown”, “Danse Macabre”
Final rate: 65/100