I’m not too familiar with the Italian industrial metal scene but these guys know what they are doing. Hate Inc’s Bipolar Spectrum Disorder is their follow up to 2011’s Art of Suffering. This release sees the band moving away from the chug metal sound of it’s predecessor with the increased use of synths. Once again Dope Stars Inc’s Victor Love has been put in charge of the mixing and is credited with co production of the album with songwriter Vincent Vega. Hate Inc is very much the Brainchild of Vega, since their initial EP Fragments back in 2009 he has been credited with all of the writing duties. This guy knows his rock, the album plays out like a page ripped straight out of the heavy metal bible. Hate Inc smear the epic rock textbook with synthlines and samples to induce black eyeliner puddles all over your local rock club.
If you were a metal head in the late 90’s this style of goth pop rock is nothing new. Hate Inc are following the path already laid out by the likes of Spineshank and Marilyn Manson. Within the album you will find traces of punk, metal, industrial, dance and funk. Musically the album is solid each song is perfectly structured, the band sound airtight complex rhythm changes and emotive drops are executed with surgical precision. Bundy and Slate provide the back bone; Bundly lays some brutal double kick brake downs and some interesting off time tempos while Slate lays down the groove on the bass. As you would imagine Hate Inc has riffage at it’s core. Vega and Narko’s guitar work contain elements of Dino Cazeres and Tom Morello , in fact when Big Brother started I thought it was a techno cover of Killing in the Name of. Overall the guitars are used as another rhythmic tool allowing the synth and vocals to take lead. The music is essentially a platform for Vega’s vocal work and lyrics. Vega’s lyrics (mainly in English) deal with existence, rebellion and having a good time. He delivers his message in variety of styles some work where as others miss the mark. The album is filled with dance floor and radio bids like Eternal Return and Extra-ordinary Life but one song appeals to me. Although not an obvious single L’odio di Caesar stands out from the rest with its fusion of Italian language crooning and rap metal. The song also includes some very cool noise and dialogue samples. The track fades out with a nod towards Ian Curtis, indicating that this album might be a Vincent Vega homage to his idols. The production on this album is greatly improved since 2011’s Art of Suffering. The final product sounds squeaky clean yet somehow loses the heavy desperation of its predecessor.
That is essentially how Bipolar Spectrum Disorder plays out. Vega has a great passion for music and has managed to find a solid band to bring his ideas forward. Hate Inc expertly portray their ideas on the well established pallet of metal. So if you are looking for something new and challenging this isn’t for you, but if you’re just getting into stuff like goth metal, dark wave or even rock in general; you could do a lot worse. For Hate Inc the future is bright, I hope to hear them take things further in the future.