Southern Extremity - Hymns Of Darkness And Hate

Southern Extremity was formed in August of 2008 in Italy, and the lineup still consists of all original members; Jason Tierney plays guitar and does vocals, Andreas Eder plays bass and Martin Leimgruber is on drums. Their name is a pun I found humorous when I realized what it means. If Heaven is the “northern extremity” then this band represents the Southern Extremity. Their material has already been featured in many compilations including Death Star Records’ Kill Kill comp. volume 1, the Spine Language comp. and Powerplay Magazine’s February issue comp.

In March of 2009 the band self-released their debut full length entitled “Hymns of Darkness and Hate”. The album starts out sounding like an almost straight-up aggressive black metal album, but after the second track more and more old school death metal and thrash elements begin creeping into the songs and those elements seem to eventually take over. The first two songs, Worlds Apart and Overture in Ice, are very grim while the last two songs, Sign of the Times and Smouldering Earth Adrift, are almost completely old school death metal/thrash with the vocals being almost the only remaining black metal influence.

When I first listened through Hymns of Darkness and Hate, the drumming jumped out at me right away. In the first song alone Martin showcases his ability to play fast and aggressive, then fall back into the pocket when necessary and even blend technical proficiency with tasteful textures. What came to my mind next was that this impressive display of talent on the drums seems out of place with the overly simple guitar and bass parts. Don’t get me wrong, the guitar parts mostly do a really good job of creating the proper atmosphere and fitting what the song calls for, but the repetitive simplicity leaves you wondering how much better the songs could’ve been. I had to ask myself that same question about the vocals as well. Throughout the album the predominant style of vocals is a single, uncontrolled, raspy grim scream, which works alright for the very grim parts of the album, but the wide variations in musical style seem to call for some more variation in vocal styles. A couple of times Jason does venture into clean singing territory, which ends up being hit-or-miss. In the beginning of Cyclic Storm his singing is pleasantly sparse and tastefully simple, but in Sign of the Times the clean singing seems to hijack the song and force it off the old school death metal/thrashy path it was so effectively carving.

There’s most definitely a lot of talent in this band; the songs combine accurate representations of the genres they encompass while remaining original and tasteful, but there are too many elements of this album that have me wondering how much better it could have been. While I can’t give Hymns of Darkness and Hate a better rating than "ok", I think Southern Extremity has a lot of potential to grow as a band and knock our socks off with their next album.

1. Worlds Apart
2. Overture in Ice
3. Amongst Chaos
4. Winter Requiems
5. Cyclic Storm
6. Sea of Forlorn Hope
7. Undone
8. Nonentity
9. Sign of the Times
10. Smouldering Earth Adrift

Self released
Reviewer: twansibon
Dec 7, 2009

Share this: