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Shadow Music Ryan Harding Review by
Ryan Harding
Hate Plow
Pavement Music

Guitarist Phil Fasciana promised the second HATE PLOW album would deliver "frightening speed." We cannot immediately forget that the first album, EVERYBODY DIES, wasn't without its own crust/grind-fueled aggression, but THE ONLY LAW IS SURVIVAL strongly tempts you to do so. Larry Hawke provided a violent performance on ED before his untimely death in a fire, and MALEVOLENT CREATION skinsman Dave Culross gives the artillery on LAW. That makes for three members from MALEVOLENT CREATION, counting Phil and second guitarist Rob Barret. There's a bit more "malevolence" to THE ONLY LAW, but HATE PLOW firmly remains its own band due to its dominant grind flourishes. The vocals are the insanity of former Sickness madman Kyle Symons, who assaults with coherent lows and shattering highs. The only new face is bassist Doug Humlack, who gets several opportunities to showcase his fast picking.

There's no shortage of the aforementioned frightening speed in the first two tracks, but the madness begins in earnest with "F.T.M." (which stands for "Fuck The Millennium") and its pummeling opening. "Should I Care?" is the best representative of the HATE PLOW philosophy in the amusing S.O.D. vein

"Third world countries going to war /
Nobody's heard of these people before /
Nobody cared that they were alive /
So why should we care if they survive?"

The majority of the music was written by Fasciana, but Humlack provides the grind-oriented "Addicted to Porn." "Social Outcast" has something of a minor build-up, but "Emotional Catastrophe," "Shattered by Disease," "Random Acts of Violence," the title track, and most of the others come at you at holocaust speeds, giving HATE PLOW the distinction of being a more death-oriented Terrorizer. "Incarcerated (Intent to Sell)" is a hardcore slab most likely to generate activity in a live setting, and along with "Resurgence of Hate" provide the more controlled moments (though not entirely devoid of flesh-peeling destruction).

The highlights are many, but most notably a consecutive trio of songs - "Traitor," "Without Weapons," and "Payback." Here Hate Plow is at their angriest and most merciless. They tracks are all united by the lyrical theme of beating the fuck out of someone, though you don't need a lyric sheet to know this. It's obvious from Kyle's delivery and Culross's cymbal-switching blasts that someone is getting brutalized - the listener. One right after another these songs practically run you down and administer ungodly violence, even to the speed freaks to whom the album is dedicated. You'll either feel like you've just been the recipient of the assault promised in the lyrics, or you'll want to hammer the message into someone else.

If you are someone who lives for blast-propelled heaviness and wanton auditory violence, few albums from this year could serve you as well. Kyle is all over the place with his rage, alienation, sadism, and porno addiction. You can practically see Culross's drum sticks disintegrating as the album progresses, and still waste is laid to all within a ten mile radius. If there's a killing spree in your future, here's the ideal soundtrack.


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This review copyright 2001 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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