Hadal Maw – Charlatan (2018)


So this is heavy. It’s abrasive, technical and utterly brutal.

Don’t like your jaw hitting the floor…? Skip right on past please.

‘Charlatan’ is a crucial offering for the Melbourne metal scene and shouldn’t be understated how intense it is. It’s not strictly death metal, grind, any subgenre of core or post-anything. It just is.

The bands members each display the typical technical prowess you might expect of the genre but the relentless barrage of riff after neck breaking riff is just tremendous.

We get a lot of heavy bands across our screens and playlists these days, some of them are top-notch too, but few are ever this severe. Charlatan’ is an entirely unique beast that I cant honestly compare to other bands or albums form memory. I’ve talked about the first track Idolatry before <click to read>. The big surprise actually came right after that initial song with the sludgey opening of track #2 ‘Vilified’. The song rigorously draws as much potency and raw filth out of the slower and more staggered material as the phenomenal starting track does with its frantic/panic inducing speed. That’s pure talent right there. The band plays with rhythm and syncopation in a way that doesn’t rely on heavily gated and tight guitars but more around the rise and fall of noise and parts. Brilliant. Let the end of the DJENT-wave begin with Hadal Maw taking a chainsaw to its branches.

I loved the instrumental section that lay at the end of ‘Charlatan pt 1’ and I can only wonder what the band might do if they were a little more relaxed and took their time a bit more often. The second part of the EP’s closing 1-2-combo destroys all the calm and peace and in its place gives more blasting and double kick laced shredding to rival the most punishing of their peers. Observe:

The production value seems acutely aware of the bands use of sound and noise in a way that it emphasises the dynamics without feeling all intense all the time. I especially loved hearing the dirty bass grinding below the guitars and allowed some of the musicality to shine through in part where on the previous release ‘Om’ it was less present.

Overall ‘Charlatan’ is a great listen and at just 30 mins you may find yourself letting it flip and play through again. I’d go as far to say this is easily some of the best metal I’ve heard from any Australian act in 2018. There.





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