Hate – ‘Erebos’ Album Review

Having started in 1990, it took twelve years for Hate to get a break, something which eventually arrived in 2002 when the band signed to Listenable records, a label with the clout and the interest to really support a band of this calibre. A polish band in the vein of Behemoth but very much with their own identity, Hate are a technically minded outfit with myriad influences and a dedication that rivals their Norwegian counterparts as well as a vivid creative streak which makes their work all the more remarkable. This, their fourth album for listenable, continues their amazing streak of writing and sees the band poised to finally gain the recognition they so richly deserve.

Recorded in just five weeks, if ‘Erebos’ was rushed, it doesn’t show; there’s a furious determination that simply shines out of every fevered blast beat and growled vocal while the guitars are ferocious churning monsters that display skill and passion in equal measure. Opening with the rather beautiful, if unsettling,  ‘Genesis’, a near-two-minute introduction to the beast that awaits you, the band announce their presence with the technical blast of ‘Lux Aeterna’ which sees a melee of snatched blast beats and laser-precise guitar laced with an Eastern influence that recalls both Nile and fellow countrymen Behemoth. It’s an audacious opening, not least because vocals don’t appear until after a minute of complex riffing although when they do, they’re suitably up front in the mix and prove to be suitably deathly in intonation. Utterly remorseless, it’s a great start which leaves you feeling like a steamroller has rolled over you, a feeling that intensifies when the frantic title track detonates somewhere near your skull with a stunningly heavy introduction and some excellent drumming showing that this band has what it takes to compete with the Machine Heads of this world whilst still remaining within the complex death metal sphere. Certainly with a performance such as this, Hate deserve to be far more revered than they currently are and it could be this album that allows that to happen. The excellently titled ‘quintessence of higher suffering’ takes things to a mid-tempo turn with the opening sounding like a cross between early Sepultura and Obituary and the slower pace means that the band can employ a vicious heaviness which is often lost in high speed riffing. That Sepultura feeling continues with the vicious groove of ‘trinity moons’ while the vocals sound uncannily like Max around the time of Schizophrenia. It’s all blisteringly technical of course, and Hate have their own identity carved across the whole, and the stunning production accentuates every last vicious aspect from the furious double-kick work to the searing guitars.

Returning to faster plains, ‘hero cults’ is a virulent slab of menacing vocals, wall-of-noise guitars and drumming that leaves you wondering how Stanisław “Hexen” Malanowicz can move so goddam fast without collapsing, while Adam “ATF Sinner” Buszko’s vocals are a continuous revelation. The album highlight, and an amazing track in its own right, arrives in the form of ‘Transsubstance’ whihc is a stunning song on every level from the pounding drums to the scything riffs which are heavy as hell and which could compete easily with south of heaven era Slayer for sheer weightiness. ‘Hexagony’ is less impressive than it’s predecessor by comparison, but it features a nice solo and keeps the pace of the album moving forward. ‘Wrists’, however, is just awesome. Opening with an atmospheric mist of synth, it’s substantially different to other tracks on offer here with a subtly atmospheric feel even while the band are thrashing you to a pulp. It’s a deep, dark, powerful song and it’s another great song from an album packed with feverish energy and memorable tracks. Final track ‘luminous horizon’ finishes things in fine, furious style with a final, spittle smeared blast of death metal that leaves you covered with sweat and your hair hanging in your eyes wondering how nearly fifty minutes have passed in what feels like a heartbeat.

Hate are a fine act produced by a country with a music scene that is under-recognised internationally. However, with bands such as Behemoth trail-blazing the way and music fans increasingly sick of the generic rubbish trotted out by western record labels always searching for the next big thing rather than taking the time to develop serious musicians with real talent, this is the time for Hate to shine ever more brightly in the light. Heavy, remorseless and utterly brilliant technically, this is a brutal throwback to the music of Sepultura, Obituary and Nile but with a glistening auditory perfection that allows every riff to come at you with startling clarity. An unmitigated success that you’ll kick yourself for missing.

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