Love the sound, ignore the lyrics

Newcomers out of Wisconsin, the groove metal group Product of Hate released their first full-length album on February 5, through Napalm Records.

Entitled “Buried in Violence,” the album is a clear winner for any fans of the ever popular Lamb of God and Pantera (with many vocalizations sounding shockingly similar to Lamb of God front man Randy Blythe), with its guttural screams and growls and impressive guitar riffs. The only downside may be that the lyricism certainly doesn’t match Lamb of God, but for a budding new act, having masterful sound and shoddy lyrics is still better than having no sound at all.

Straight out of the gate, “Buried in Violence” shows no mercy with “Kill. You. Now.” and a scream that sounds just like Randy Blythe himself. With riffs a little faster than their well-established competition, Product of Hate impresses with excellent mastering on top of their already impressive sound. Not only are both guitars easily discernible among the screaming and drums, but they even get their own time to shine in the forms of short solos reminiscent of Meshuggah and Lamb of God’s song “Pathetic.”

That aforementioned mastering may have something to do with why this debut album sounds so good. After signing with Napalm Records in 2015, “Buried in Violence” got to be mixed and mastered by famed producer, musician, and DFA Records co-founder James Murphy. Murphy is also famous in the metal world for his work with bands like Testament, Obituary, and Death.

What may be more impressive than the endless onslaught of brutal groove is the fact that the band is more than proficient with their instruments. In the middle of the album is the track “Vindicare,” a soft instrumental piece. This type of song is certainly not uncommon nowadays (even Cattle Decapitation had one on their last album) but it does nicely break up the monotony of the other 10 chugging tracks, especially since it doesn’t subject the audience to any lyrics.

Truly, it is sad that many new bands fill their music with angst and drivel that could easily come from an angry teen writing slam poetry for the first time. This album did not come out unscathed, as songs like “Blood Coated Concrete” and “Unholy Manipulator” seem to be ambiguous anthems of anger and hate directed at no one but the world. While this does dampen the quality of “Buried in Violence,” it makes sense that the lyrics aren’t the best. For a debut, and with everything else on the album coming out so well, sub-par lyrics can easily be forgiven. Vocalist Adam Gilley is not easily understood anyway, though it works for this music.

Taken as a whole, “Buried in Violence” seems to be the perfect gift for the Lamb of God fan that’s heard everything. Time will tell if Product of Hate can truly differentiate themselves from the bands they’ve obviously modeled themselves after, but right now they’re doing everything right. The sound alone should be enough for any groove or thrash fan to love and enjoy.