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Hatesphere's fifth installment of metal might comes in the form of the nine-track SERPENT SMILES AND KILLER EYES. Keeping in the tradition of the unit's previous offerings, this Danish quintet skillfully tread the line between melodic death and thrash metal on cuts like the catchy "Damned Below Judas", "Let Them Hate" and "Floating", and even explore a bit on the discernibly sludgier "Drinking with the King of the Dead". Taking cues from acts such as The Haunted, Arch Enemy, and In Flames, Hatesphere keeps their metal unabashedly raw yet memorably melodic, providing ample parts for headbanging and fist-pumping on tracks such as the album's punishing closer "Absolution". While the band has undergone massive lineup changes in recent months, this disc's pure power is not to be underscored or denied, as the lineup Hatesphere recorded SERPENT SMILES AND KILLER EYES leave a lot for the new guys to live up to.
- Mike SOS