I have already touched upon the topic of how Italy from the mid-00's until the late 10's became one of the hotspots for genuinely solid old-school crust music in Europe - and beyond I would argue - while in the 90's, the decade traditionally associated with the rise of the genre, the country was surprisingly, not to mention sadly, crust-free (with the exceptions of Scum of Society and to some extent Dissciorda). I have never been sure about the reasons of this discrepancy. There certainly was grindcore so speed was not the issue. Did Italian parents choose to abandon their baby crust punks in the local woods? Legends of feral kids howling Doom lyrics at the moon would seem to point in that direction. Did they try to exorcize them? Were foreign crusties prohibited to enter the country by the government? Were the pigs equipped with crust repellent Bat-spray? The idea that Italian punks in the 90's did not enjoy crust music like the rest of the world is just preposterous so I would go personally go for the repellent spray. In any case, this mystery remains a cold case and any theory is a good theory.
In the 00's, things changed drastically through the impulse of top bands like Campus Sterminii, Dirty Power Games and Kontatto and eventually something close to an Italian stenchcore wave (in punk terminology, a "wave" appears when more than five bands sort of play the same style) emerged by the end of the decade with Cancer Spreading as the last crust standing at the time of writing. These are basic historical facts that anyone can find in the Harvard Encyclopedia of Crust - chapter 7, section 3 - and I am definitely not paid enough for this gig to repeat myself on a sunday so if you need an even deeper exploration on the subject of Italian crust from both a synchronic and diachronic perspective, check the piece about Campus Sterminii's Life is a Nightmarish Struggle I did last year.
Hostiliter can be said to have been part of that 2010's wave of Italian stenchcore as they were active during the heart of it, between 2010 and 2016 (or 2017?) and even though it is quite hard to gauge how those bands will fare in the future, it is still crucial to investigate and analyze them since, if punk does belong to the punks (and not the businessmen or the cultural establishment and the academia), it also belongs to the punks to write our own history and memory of punk. I must confess that I have absolutely no recollection of my first encounter with Hostiliter but it might have been during one of those nights when I end up scouting for new upcoming crust bands online for hours while I had promised myself I would just check whether Warcollapse did two or three split Ep's in the 90's (they only did two in case you were also wondering but wanted to spare yourself the effort). But anyway, the band was from Viterno, between Roma and Perugia and self-released a five-song demo cd in 2011 entitled Intoxication which will be your cuppa if you are into raw and straight-forward early Cancer Spreading (and clearly you should be). They recorded a remarkable promotape in 2012 (or was it later? The youtube videos says 2015) called Age of Decay that sounded more apocalyptic and metallic, with some great mid-paced moments and even some synth while keeping that fast and raw crust punk approach style.
By 2015, the band had evolved into a more death-metal oriented crust unit - some would say "deathcrust" but I hate the term - not unlike what Cancer Spreading were doing at that moment too (I am not suggesting that Hostiliter's evolution was necessarily influenced by CS's but the fact is worth mentioning). A New Dawn for Lost Mankind is a modest but effective recording of death-metal influenced stenchcore with a hardcore punk production. The album lacks a little in heaviness but makes up for it thanks to its dynamic and aggressive crusty punk vibe. Bolt Thrower-influenced crust is of course the band's main template and bands like Heallisheaven, Sanctum or Last Legion Alive (and of course Cancer Spreading) come to mind and, while it would be far-fetched to claim Hostiliter were the cream of the crust crop - their sorry lack of vinyl output especially not helping - but they still definitely delivered, were apt specimen of the 10's metal crust subgenre and the cd is very pleasant precisely for its typicality. This is crust that has crows, chaos crosses, skulls, barren wasteland and torn war banners at its core. You already know the menu if you are seated at this table. The lyrics in Italian are definitely a plus and I had fun finding several borrowed bits from classic crust bands (a barely modified Deviated Instinct riff here, a Filth of Mankind break there, some Nausea flow too). The icing on the cake is the top Contropotere cover - "Demoni e dei" from their 1988 album Nessuna Speranza Nessuna Paura - which Hostiliter greatly pulls out. I don't know any other band covering the absolutely magnificent and unique Contropotere so A New Dawn for Lost Mankind is worth hearing if only for that very relevant choice. Great job.
The cd was released on Suoni Oscuri in 2016 and I suppose may still be ordered through the band as it was not well distributed at all. Mind you, I don't even know how many copies were pressed as I was lucky enough to get it when they played in France. Until then, here is the download link.