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Despite being around for as long as Behemoth and even playing the death metal style that Poland is now known for before Behemoth turned to death metal, it is quite weird that Hate never quite got as much recognition as the aforementioned and bands like Vader did when it came to Polish death metal. But this did little to deter the band from continuing to unleash their brand of death metal upon the masses, and this year sees the band releasing their 8th full length effort, Solarflesh.
The Polish stylistics that Behemoth helped to popularise is easily heard on Solarflesh, from the blackened, yet crushing style of riffing that is unleashed by ATF Sinner and Destroyer, down to the relentless and tireless blasting of drummer Hexen. Just listen to the opening moments of songs like Eternal Might and Alchemy of Blood, where the entire sound of the band can easily fit a Behemoth record, especially in the way the pinch harmonics are incorporated into their music. ATF Sinner’s vocals are even rather similar to Nergal’s and this certainly reinforces that Behemoth comparison. Hexen’s drumming is one of the key attractions on the album, and the energy that he exudes is not unlike fellow Polish drummers such as Inferno and Stormblast.
Yet on Hate‘s eighth studio effort the band actually incorporates quite a wide array of influences and elements into their music, allowing them to break free from the ironic tag of Behemoth copycats. To be really honest, Behemoth wasn’t really all that appealing after my initial forays into extreme metal, sounding too one-directional and lacking true dynamics in their songwriting, often boring me after the initial impact on their releases. But apart from the brutality in the music, on Solarflesh Hate has incorporated elements from genres like ambient and folk into their songwriting like on the intro of Festival of Slaves to create a more interesting and epic sound than their other Polish counterparts. The leads guitars can also get rather melodic, like on Alchemy of Blood.
And it is precisely things like that that help to make Hate a more enjoyable band to listen to compared to Behemoth, especially with the latter’s recent releases that all tend to sound all too similar to each other. Fans of Polish death metal and of the Hertz Studio sound will certainly not be disappointed by this release.