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This is actually my very first Hate album I’m listening to its entirely. I’ve heard a few songs and from them before and was very excited to review what is to be Hate’s eighth full-length, “Solarflesh: A Gospel of Radiant Divinity". Yes, I’ve heard how this is just a Behemoth clone but to yield to such a abhorrent label is undermining this mighty act from Poland. In fact, Hate had its signature sound way before Behemoth came along with the same merit. Let’s just agree that Behemoth is Behemoth and Hate is Hate. Those who think they sound identical are apparently tone-deaf.
Well I don’t know how to begin so I’ll just start with “Eternal Might”. My main focus in these extreme acts is to concentrate on the drums as the foundation since it’s very intense and usually everything flows under its right wing. I found this to be true with this album. Hexen, the drummer (but not the awesome thrash metal band of the same name), does indeed start on the right foot by pounding the living heck out of his drum set. On this song particularly I thought it was well-coordinated but came across as a bit sloppy at times. “Alchemy of Blood” is where Hexen sets aside his endurance and thrives a bit on the creative and catchy side of things. Prior to this, the song kicks in with a weird sample. Imagine finding a portal opaquely hidden behind a brick wall. You break it down because your curiosity is strong. There you find an unstable tear in the universe which before any reaction can kick in, you are sucked up into the realms of an unexplained plane of dimension.
On “Timeless Kingdom”, I was a bit disappointed; mundane contributions in Hexen’s part. The guitar rhythm towards the end sounded very familiar to me but I could not put my finger on it. Nonetheless, it sounded completely out of place with the rest of the music and Hexen started to sound a bit dull around these parts. Talk about mood swings, “Festival of Slaves” was a fun song to listen to. Ironically it proposes “fun” by having “festival” in its name. Who was the party animal you ask? Well if you’ve been following my review so far you will know that I’m talking about the one and only, Hexen. I actually started to imitate his pattern on my imaginary drum set. I probably had more cymbals than him since mine is imaginary; easy to learn but creative.
“Sadness Will Last Forever” was by far the dullest song of the lot and unfortunately the longest. Overall it was stale but Hexen’s drum pattern was really nice toward the beginning and close to the end repeated it. I began to take the effect of the title, I was looking forward to its inevitable end. Going along with this emotional roller coaster, “Solarflesh” stimulated the neurons inside my head. I guess if you are going to name your album after a song it might as well be one where everyone is at their optimal form. It begins with an acoustic contraption that is reminiscent of Egyptian folklore. It's a bit primitive and unstable but it leads the song with the foreshadowing of something big coming. While remaining Hate, these guys explore a bit in the ruins of technical prowess. Opening up sarcophagi similar to Nile but it is short-lived.
Again the tendency of negative contrast shows itself on “Endless Purity”. My once stimulated neurons were starting to dwindle in the archaic world of nothingness. However, before a continued onset of the suicide program took effect, something hit me like a quick passing moving object that just flashes by without any warning. These guys were showing what appeared to be Doom sounding riffs. My interests were piqued again and the music began to be salient once again. “Mesmerized” closes the curtain on this album and to my sanity it leaves with a good impression, a satisfied feeling but you felt like you were cheated a few bucks. The wretch from “Watchful Eye of Doom” appears again on this track.
This was a decent album not one of the best but it keeps one entertained. Not sure what to think of Hate after this album. It leaves you expecting more elaboration. My hunger wasn't fulfilled. There’s sloppy areas and fun areas. It started with intense energies but mellowed out with a sedated feeling.
Originally written for http://www.metal-temple.com/