To the Nines
Style: Thrash death metal
Release date: March 23rd 2009

I believe that Pepe has done everything right.


‘That’s a bold statement,’ you might think at first and then you’ll probably think; ‘and who the hell is Pepe?’


Pepe is Peter Lyse Hansen, the last remaining original member of Danish thrashcore kings HateSphere. Just over one year ago, one of Europe’s best live bands seemed to be in ruins. Four out of five long-time members had left a ship that had otherwise shown no indications of a tendency to sink. How are you supposed to pick up the pieces after that, some might think.


Four new people were quickly hauled into the ranks, but one could only doubt how the new outfit would perform and, indeed, how the growing audience of the band would perceive the whole thing. I went to a show with the new line-up in January 2008, and it was a nice surprise to see that HateSphere could still deliver the goods.


The new incarnation of HateSphere could have gone in several directions, but they decided to go for the most brutal: they became more death metal. And hooray for that decision.


If anything, ‘To the Nines’ displays a more brutal HateSphere than we have ever heard. And that without losing the playfulness: the instrumental Commencing A Campaign sounds like a mixture of Iron Maiden and Def Leppard, or there’s the intro of Clarity that sounds like a techno beat from the mid-nineties.


The young Joller has turned out to be a powerful vocalist who blasts away behind the mic. Less screaming than his predecessor, more snarling, deeper without losing the hardcore touch.  


The twin guitar attack of the Danes is more heads-down metal than anyone could have wished for – something that is probably in part related to Jakob Haagen Nyholm’s death metal past in the imminent deathsters Dawn of Demise as well as Koldborn.


The most powerful HateSphere album yet. One to kill to. One to bang heads to. Try the tune Cloaked in Shit for starters…monstrous groove!


01. To the Nines
02. Backstabber
03. Cloaked in Shit
04. Clarity
05. Even if it Kills Me
06. Commencing a Campaign
07. The Writing's on the Wall
08. In the Trenches
09. Aurora
10. Oceans of Blood

Label: Napalm Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 20/100
Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen
Date: March 16th 2009
Website: www.hatesphere.com