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An early EP from Abyssic Hate, "Eternal Damnation" is a misanthropic spitfire blast of extremely raw and hateful anti-Christian black metal. A throwaway grinding machine intro is scant preparation for the full-on roar of distorted guitar whine, paper-thin programmed blast beats and goblin snarl vocals. There is just one speed for most tracks: the recording is set on "Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!" mode. Thereafter it's all we can do to keep up with the steaming minimalist guitar drones and percussion flaying. Wisely AH Shane Rout does not sing along with the music - he merely intones the lyrics above the maelstrom.
There's not much to distinguish each track from its predecessor, apart from the introduction, so we may as well all sit back and enjoy the ride as Rout's knight of the living dead charges out to scourge the world of the Christian plague and ... well, rout its high priests and their sheeple followers, and send them all into the deepest recesses of Hell. You wonder why Rout even needs to pause between tracks when he could just keep on going with the manic rhythms and streaming guitar buzz. The sudden breaks tend to stop the flow and a little momentum is lost each time.
The pity here is that the music doesn't reflect the narrative of the lyrics which have a definite beginning, ascent, climax and closure. There are few distinct riffs or melodies and, with the pace as unchanging as it is, the music actually gives the impression of standing still. The only track that stands out is the last, "The Victory is Ours", this being an Absurd cover. That in itself doesn't say a great deal for the standard of song composition on the rest of the EP.
I guess the good thing about this recording is that Rout got it off his chest and it was best done sooner rather than later.
Following a series of demos, Abyssic Hate released the Eternal Damnation E.P. in 1998, through Darker Than Black. Consisting of only four original songs, this recording is not all that original or captivating, but it is fairly decent Black Metal in the vein of early Darkthrone, particularly Transilvanian Hunger.
After a completely useless intro, "Knight of the Living Dead" rips forth with cold and mournful tremolo melodies that are actually quite memorable, even haunting at times. The drumming sounds like it is probably programmed, which would make sense since this is a one-man project. Either way, it is not bad and does a decent job of keeping time and little else. The riffs flow well, from one to the next, and the progression is logical as each one builds on its predecessor. The vocals sound similar to Varg's approach on Filosofem, though more distant and a bit weaker. This is one of the main flaws of the recording, as the vocals do not do enough to add to the overall atmosphere of the songs. By the middle of the track, the pace slows down and more epic melodies unfold, creating depth and demonstrating that, while the playing may be very influenced by Darkthrone, the actual songwriting is much less minimalist.
"Human Despair" follows the same formula, more or less. This is pure worship of the early 90s Norwegian Black Metal scene, and there is absolutely no denying it. That said, at least Abyssic Hate does an adequate job of it, unlike so many others. As with the previous track, the guitar riffs flow naturally, though some of the riffs are less than impressive. The mid-paced part is less useful and the riffs become boring. The lyrics are a joke, as well, sounding about as emo and pathetic as possible, even making references that almost seem to show some sort of acceptance of Judeo-Christian mythology. Hopefully, this was merely for poetic effect.
This is contradicted on the following track, "Attack!", which at least makes use of some common Black Metal themes of violence and anti-Christian sentiment. Musically, it is superior to the last song, just for the fact that it is more straightforward and keeps the blasting pace, without the ridiculous double-bass parts. It features some memorable tremolo melodies and is one of the better songs on here.
"The Blood War" maintains the same style, though it has become repetitive and boring at this stage. The problem with this sort of approach is that the band must have very interesting riffs, or else it falls flat after a while. It features a slower part that does not do much to add to the song, and the whole endeavour sounds as if it has been heard before.
The final song is an Absurd cover, "Victory is Ours". There is little to say about this, as it does not fit in too well with the rest of the material, but at least it has a slightly different feel to it. It is very short and neither adds to nor detracts from the overall quality of the release.
Eternal Damnation is a decent E.P. but not essential in the slightest bit. These songs were later released on a compilation album titled A Decade of Hate, so they should be rather easy to find. While this comes off as a little generic and uneventful, "Knight of the Living Dead" and "Attack!" are worth hearing and are probably the best songs Abyssic Hate has ever recorded. That said, they are far too derivative and bear little original thought; therefore, one cannot be surprised that this band has not recorded a single note in over a decade.
Written or http://ritesoftheblackmoon.tripod.com
This has to be regarded as the first work of Shan Rout in "professional" territory. Released by Darker Than Black Records, limited to 500 handnumbered copies, that was a pain to find.
Well, the mcd we have here was re-released, and remasterised on A Decade Of Hate album, so if you already have A Decade Of Hate, no needs to track this down really.
What we have on this MCD is pure early Abyssic Hate, with fast buzzing guitars, blast beats, burzum vocals. The MCD is only 21 minutes long and the music is good enough that you want more.
Knights Of The Living Dead is one of my all-time favorite song by Abyssic Hate, overall this is a pretty good MCD.
If you can find it, get it, otherwise stick to the remasterised version on A Decate Of Hate, which sounds a lot better than this MCD. I don't see any real annoying flaws about it though, besides the length of it.
That's unfortunate that Shane Rout doesn't involved himself more with Abyssic Hate. Last labum offered is Suicidal Emotions in 2000...
I hope to hear more of this stuff.