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Bludgeoning and brutal - 85%

MetalDeity, September 21st, 2013

As one of the leading names in the Polish scene, Hate has a guaranteed difficulty coping with the fans of now-legendary Behemoth trigger-happy to dismiss any band that bears even the most minuscule of resemblance to their preferred artist. And while no doubt about it, Behemoth is a mammoth quartet that are very skilled at what they do, and it seems that with this release Hate has reinvented the genres and has engineered a fine example of not just a blazingly fast, but also an appropriately atmospheric piece of blackened death metal. That is not to say there is no room to further improve, but the foundations laid here are solid and will most certainly support the band's career for many years to come.

The album is comprised of 12 tracks including 3 bonus ones which amounts to a decent length of material just over an hour. After a very mystical and arcane intro of female chanting, we get a less idiosyncratic cannonade of extreme metal with both high-tempo blast beats and a whirlwind of riffs that are caustic and spiteful enough to prepare the listener for even more vitriol that is about to unfold, but not before a nice intro in "Alchemy of Blood" with its tribal drum-fills and a panache for solos, thus making the sound more diverse and less reliant on a single modus operandi. And while the instrumentals and vocals are both extremely well-handled and executed with passion and zest, they are only original to the point of being unafraid to embrace several existing and dominating approaches to extreme metal, like the more dissonant aspect of Deathspell Omega, Blut aus Nord, and Reverence (those French love their avant-garde), or the more recent Swedish old school revival (Nominon, Diabolical, Entrails...).

The lyrics apparently follow the already-seen and not-so-unique fascination with cosmic chaos and omni-incineration, but are not an impediment to general impact as they are for the most part unintelligible and seemingly more carved out of personal observations rather than clownish rephrasing of earlier Darkthrone material, or a drive to show off how well-versed one is in occult literature, which is commendable. The vocals are more akin to death metal, apart from the few aforementioned female passages, namely the intro track and "Mesmerized", that are refreshing and resonating enough to be considered part of the music and not just experiments within the stylistic limitations of the genre.

Overall, with precise and spot-on musicianship, great energy demonstrated in both vocal sectors, and by utilizing several twists and turns of the avant-garde, they succeed at sculpting a fine and admirable effort in their genre with both astounding vigor and some entropic, more contemplative pieces of almost industrial-like ambiance, Oriental embellishments (oud solo in the title track), all gilded with crystal-clear, crisp production and a premise more of the same quality to follow. 8.5/10