I feel like I need one of those stupid fucking “I don’t always do something but when I do I…” because that’s how I have to qualify my listening to brutal death metal. It’s not a genre I get in to very much aside from a couple bands here and there but the one that always hits me the hardest is Hour of Penance. I think it’s because when I first started exploring extreme metal somehow I found their newest album at the time Paradogma and it just fucking clicked. The intensely anti-religious focus combined with the non-stop brutal attack was new to me and blew my fucking brain apart. I’ve been a fan since. Sure there are better bands playing this type of music and I’ll agree Hour of Penance aren’t the most original but they’re oh so satisfying when I’m in the mood for something fucking brutal, AND I think it’s appropriate seeing as they’re from Rome and today is the Ides of March (you know, because of Caesar) so let’s do The Vile Conception.

Since Paradogma was my first exposure to the band I’m going to be fanboy-ish about this and say that’s the Hour of Penance album all the rest have to live up to. It could be considered their worst for all I know but I fucking love it, and I don’t really know if they do have a worst. They’re typically pretty solid on each release and don’t ever fuck with their formula, which works to their advantage. On The Vile Conception they’re straight to the fucking point and the only real exploration or change here is with the new vocalist, probably flexing his weight and trying to impress. The vocals do get a little Cannibal Corpse-ish in the patterns but overall I think they’re rather dramatic and fit the insane frenzy of the music. Again, they’re extreme anti-christian lyrics are on full display here. I love Italian metal’s theatrical nature and I find some of the most aggressively anti-christian bands come from there. Must be something with being so close to Vatican City and the root of all that nonsense.

So that’s Hour of Penance’s The Vile Conception. It’s fucking killer like all their stuff and definitely a brutal death metal album so if you like that thing I bet you’ll like them. It’s crazy intense, unrelentingly pummeling, and oh so pleasing.