Focus: Hatesphere

author AP date 30/08/06

Hatesphere is currently the name that immediately comes to mind when considering the thriving Danish metal scene. Four full length albums and two EP’s coupled with extensive touring have earned the band the reputation of the pioneer of Danish metal, as well as Denmark’s best live band - a reputation that allowed them to play Roskilde Festival for the first time ever this year. After the release of their fourth album, "The Sickness Within", in 2005, it is time to look into the band’s history and outline what the band really stands for. Read on to unmask the story behind the pioneering Danish melodic death/thrash-metal quintet.

The Early Years

Although Hatesphere was officially formed in 2000, its history dates much further. In 1993 three high school friends, Jesper Moesgaard, Claus Nielsen and Frantz Dhin manned a drum kit, microphone and guitar to form Cauterized. Because none of the members had ever tried to play before, the logical first step was to begin practicing cover tracks of their favorite bands: Sepultura and Slayer. The band quickly evolved into Necrosis, and continued humble but steadfast rehearsing in their local school in Odder, Denmark.

A student at the school, Peter Lyse Hansen acquired information that Necrosis was on the lookout for a second guitar player. When he heard of the genre being played, he immediately contacted the band and presented his interest in joining. With the addition of a second guitarist, the band moved on to rehearse more complex tracks in the likes of Entombed’s "Hollowman" and Septultura’s "Dead Embryonic Cells".

Necrosis made their live debut in 1994, performing at several music contests in Denmark. Live shows were a new and exciting experience for the young band, and even though the band was shown little appreciation at first, the decision was made to take the next step. The band began writing their own songs and recorded their first demo, "Condemned Future", in 1995 in the famous Borsing Recordings studio in Aarhus, Denmark. The demo was produced by none other than Jan Borsing. The demo featured a series of old-school death metal tracks, and even though the band had not quite discovered their own style, they had the foundation. Frantz Dhin had decided to move to Aalborg, and Jesper’s brother, Jan Moesgaard, thus replaced him on the guitar.

Frantz returned to Necrosis later that year, grabbing the bass guitar this time. The band then moved on to play some shows with Frantz’s band from Aalborg, Despondent Soul, as well as Cookypuss (punk rock band) and Papilla (girl rock band). As new songs failed to exist, the band began feeling that Claus, the vocalist, was showing a growing lack of interest. They felt that the removal of Claus from the band was necessary, as the rest of the band had ambitions to go further.

So the band set out to search for a new vocalist, and was shortly contacted by a curly-haired guy from Aarhus, who was, of course, none other than Jacob Bredahl. Jacob demonstrated impressive vocal talent and was immediately hired. The band began writing new songs and released their second demo, "Disconnected", in 1997. Although the demo was recorded in the Borsing Recordings studio, the legendary Tue Madsen produced it. Madsen’s touch on the album coupled with the band’s faster, more experimenting style earned the demo incredible reviews, especially in Germany. Contract proposals began landing in their mailbox, but these were all turned down.

Thriving on the success of this new sound, the band decided to keep working with the fast and melodic style, culminating in the band’s third, self-produced demo in 1998, carrying the name "Spring ‘98". Suddenly the band had established its own style. Although record labels turned the band down, Jacob Hansen (a former member of Invocator who had recently set up his own record label, Serious Entertainment, in Denmark) began showing interest in the band. At the time he was releasing compilation albums with unsigned acts from Denmark, and offered Necrosis to record a track for the forthcoming "Extremity Rising vol.4". The band felt that Frantz Dhin no longer fit in the band, and replaced him with a new bass player, Mikael Ehlert Hansen, in the spring of 1999. Shortly after, the band recorded "Addicted Soul" for the compilation album at Borsing Recordings, which was again produced by Tue Madsen.

Hatesphere

"Addicted Soul" made a great impression on Jacob Hansen, and inspired him to offer the band a record deal with Serious Entertainment. With this development, Jan Moesgaard felt that he did not wish to play this kind of music anymore and had to make too many compromises, and decided to leave. He was quickly replaced by guitarist Ziggy, and together with him the songwriting for the band’s debut album began. The band would also need to change its name.

This proved to be extremely difficult, but it was unanimously decided that the band would now be known as Hatesphere. Hatesphere entered the studio in March 2000 to record their debut album with producer Jacob Hansen. The drums and bass were again recorded at Borsing Recordings, but the guitars, vocals and mixing were completed at Aabenraa Studios in Aabenraa, Denmark; Hansen’s own studio. Though the band finished recording the album, Jacob’s label ran into economical troubles and had to shut down. The band now faced having a complete album but no one to release it.

Hatesphere decided to play two gigs to gain reputation: one supporting thrash metal gods Testament and another supporting Anathema and Mayhem in Manchester, United Kingdom. An Italian record label, Scarlet Records began demonstrating interest in the band, and offered Hatesphere a record deal. A contract was signed during the Christmas in 2000, and the album was finally ready for release.

Morten Toft Hansen replaced Jesper Moesgaard on the drums, eliminating the last founder of the band, and on the 16th of April 2001, the band’s self-titled debut album was finally released.

Hell is here

The unique blend of aggression, groove and melody quickly established Hatesphere as a leading Danish act in the metal scene, and in 2002, Hatesphere entered the Jailhouse studio to record their second album, "Bloodred Hatred". The sound was faster, more melodic and featured incredible guitar solos, drawing the band towards a more complex, aggressive and catchy style of thrash metal. In the same year, "Bloodred Hatred" won the Danish Metal Award for 'Best Album'.

The success of this album opened doors for extensive touring around Europe with internationally acclaimed bands such as The Haunted, Testament and Mastodon. In the same year, the band re-entered the studio to record a mini album titled "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Black", which was later released in 2003. Some changes into the band’s line-up were also made; Anders Gyldenøhr replaced Morten Toft Hansen on the drums, and Henrik "Heinz" Jacobsen replaced Ziggy on the guitar. The band hit the road again, and with their energetic performance that blew away both the audience and the press, the band earned an award for 'Best Live Band' in the Danish Metal Awards.

In 2004, Hatesphere entered the Jailhouse studio to record their third album, "Ballet of the Brute". The band experimented with a different approach, tending towards a brutally aggressive in-your-face sound, while maintaining a touch of the groove and melody that Hatesphere stands for.

Following the release of this album, the band joined thrash metal kings Exodus on tour. "The Summer of the Brute" opened new doors for the band, and later that year, Hatesphere toured with New Orleans-based sludgecore band Crowbar. After playing numerous shows and festivals in Europe, Hatesphere returned to Denmark to write new material. The new songs culminated in the release of "The Killing" EP, designed as an appetizer to the band’s upcoming new album in 2005. For the recording of "The Killing", Hatesphere signed to Steamhammer/SPV.

During the five-month gap between "The Killing" and the new album, Hatesphere joined Kreator, Dark Tranquillity and Morbid Angel on tour, and concentrated on songwriting. "The Sickness Within" was released later that year as the band’s fourth full-length album through Steamhammer/SPV. "The Sickness Within" immediately pushed the band into the album charts on the same week that it hit the stores, and earned the band awards for 'Album of the Year' and 'Best Production' at the 2005 Danish Metal Awards. Though these two could be said to be the most important awards, the band was nominated in five categories altogether. "The Sickness Within" took the band on tour with Soilwork, Constructhead, Chimaira and several other bands, culminating in a performance at the 2006 Roskilde Festival.

Essential album

Though Hatesphere has released four albums in their career, "Bloodred Hatred" represents the uniquity of the band. With its groovy, melodic touch coupled with aggressive riffs and vocals it defined Hatesphere, and quickly labeled the band as a pioneering Danish metal band. And not without reason; The album features some of the best tracks the band has ever released, such as "Believer", "Insanity Arise", "Disbeliever" and "Hell is here". The success of this album does not compare to "The Sickness Within" in terms of sales and awards, but is sure to remain an underground as well as mainstream legend in not just the Danish metal scene, but the entire metal community of the world. If looking to begin listening to Hatesphere, "Bloodred Hatred" is without doubt the album to buy. It is not only more accessible than the others, it is also the catchiest and most unique album Hatesphere has released to date.

Discography

Necrosis – Condemned Future

Produced by Jan Borsing.

Recorded at Borsing Recordings, Aarhus, Denmark, April 1995.

01. Condemned Future

02. Absurd Creation

03. Cowardly Prejudiced

04. Dark Half

Claus Nielsen – Vocals

Peter Lyse Hansen – Guitar

Jan Moesgaard – Guitar

Frantz Dhin – Bass

Jesper Moesgaard – Drums

Necrosis – Disconnected

Produced by Tue Madsen.

Recorded at Borsing Recordings, Aarhus, Denmark, October 1997.

01. Disconnected

02. Cosmic Sicko

03. Spiders Like To Hide

Jacob Bredahl – Vocals

Jan Moesgaard – Guitar

Peter Lyse Hansen – Guitar

Frantz Dhin – Bass / Backup vocals

Jesper Moesgaard – Drums

Necrosis – Spring ’98

Produced by Jacob Bredahl.

Recorded at Studio Tarm, Aarhus, Denmark, May 1998.

01. Restrain

02. Grace

03. Under Water

04. Supressed By Secrecy

05. Ill Will

Jacob Bredahl – Vocals

Peter Lyse Hansen – Guitar

Frantz Dhin – Bass

Jesper Moesgaard – Drums

Jan Moesgaard – Guitar

Hatesphere – Hatesphere

Produced by Jacob Hansen & Hatesphere

Recorded at Borsing Recordings and Aabenraa Studios, Denmark in March 2000.

Released April 2001 by Scarlet Records, Italy.

01. Hate

02. Picture This

03. Addicted Soul

04. Bloodsoil

05. Down For Good

06. No Sense

07. Preacher

08. Dead

09. Ill Will

10. Restrain

Jacob Bredahl – Vocals

Peter Lyse Hansen – Guitar

Ziggy – Guitar

Mikael Ehlert – Bass

Jesper Moesgaard – Drums

Hatesphere – Bloodred Hatred

Produced, mixed and engineered by Tommy Hansen and Hatesphere.

Recorded at Jailhouse Studio, Horsens, Denmark in May/June 2002.

Released 2002 by Scarlet Records, Italy.

01. Intro

02. Believer

03. Hell Is Here

04. Insanity Arise

05. Disbeliever

06. Plague

07. Low Life Vendetta

08. Deeper and Deeper

09. Kicking Ahead

10. Addicted Soul

11. Under Water

Jacob Bredahl – Vocals

Peter Lyse Hansen – Guitar

Ziggy – Guitar

Mikael Ehlert – Bass

Morten Toft Hansen – Drums

Hatesphere – Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Black

Produced, mixed and engineered by Tue Madsen and Hatesphere.

Recorded at Antfarm Studio, Aarhus, Denmark in September 2003.

Live tracks recorded March at Voxhall, Aarhus, Denmark.

Released December 2003 by Scarlet Records, Italy

01. Release The Pain

02. Bark At The Moon

03. Caught In A Mosh

04. Low Life Vendetta (Live)

05. Bloodsoil (Live)

06. Plague (Live)

07. Hate (Live)

Jacob Bredahl – Vocals

Peter Lyse Hansen – Guitar

Henrik Jacobsen – Guitar

Mikael Ehlert – Bass

Anders Gyldenøhr – Drums

Hatesphere – Ballet of the Brute

Produced, mixed and engineered by Tommy Hansen, Jacob Bredahl and Hatesphere.

Recorded and mixed at Jailhouse Studios, Horsens, Denmark in February 2004.

Released by Scarlet Records, Italy, June 2004.

01. The Beginning And The End

02. Deathtrip

03. Vermin

04. Downward To Nothing

05. Only The Strongest

06. What I See I Despise

07. Last Cut, Last Head

08. Warhead

09. Blankeyed

10. 500 Dead People

Jacob Bredahl – Vocals

Peter Lyse Hansen – Guitar

Henrik Jacobsen – Guitar

Mikael Ehlert – Bass

Anders Gyldenøhr – Drums

Hatesphere – The Killing EP

Produced by Tommy Hansen, Jacob Hansen and Hatesphere.

Mixed Tommy Hansen and Hatesphere.

Recorded at Jailhouse Studios, Horsens, Denmark.

Released by Steamhammer, a division of SPV GmbH, 2005.

01. Murderous Intent

02. You're The Enemy

03. The Will Of 6od

04. Trip At The Brain (cover)

Jacob Bredahl – Vocals

Peter Lyse Hansen – Guitar

Henrik Jacobsen – Guitar

Mikael Ehlert – Bass

Anders Gyldenøhr – Drums

Hatesphere – The Sickness Within

Produced by Tommy Hansen, Jacob Hansen and Hatesphere.

Mixed by Tue Madsen at the Antfarm, Aarhus, Denmark.

Vocals and drums recorded at Jailhouse Studios, Horsens, Denmark.

Guitars and bass recorded at the Hansen Studio, Ribe, Denmark.

Additional recordings at Signal Creative Studios, London, UK

and Smart´n´Hard Productions, Aarhus, Denmark.

Released September 2005 by Steamhammer, a division of SPV GmbH.

01. The White Fever

02. The Fallen Shall Rise In A River Of Blood

03. Reaper Of Life

04. Sickness Within

05. Murderous Intent

06. The Coming Of Chaos

07. Bleed To Death

08. Heaven Is Ready To Fall

09. Seeds Of Shame

10. Chamber Master

11. Marked By Darkness

Jacob Bredahl – Vocals

Peter Lyse Hansen – Guitar

Henrik Jacobsen – Guitar

Mikael Ehlert – Bass

Anders Gyldenøhr – Drums

Related:

Official Hatesphere website

Jacob Hansen interviewed

Hatesphere interviewed

Hatesphere - The Sickness Within review

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