Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Black metal is the devil's fuel - 82%

Felix 1666, October 31st, 2015
Written based on this version: 2003, CD, Moonfog Productions

It is commonly agreed that "Hate Them", the tenth regular studio album of the Norwegian duo, does not belong to its most impressive works. What is even worse, it can be easily overlooked in view of the nearly unmanageable discography of the Scandinavian metal trolls. But ignoring this album would be a pity, because it is definitely not weaker than some of its predecessors. After their mediocre death metal debut, the mind-boggling black metal reference works and the intermezzo with the heterogeneously produced "Total Death" and the incredibly shitty "Goatlord", Darkthrone had begun a new era with "Ravishing Grimness". This album was the first that featured fairly complex, long songs. They combined many elements of extreme metal without delivering generic black, death or thrash metal. "Plaguewielder" confirmed the approach of "Ravishing Grimness" and the here presented album made the trilogy complete.

Although the songs are a little bit shorter than on the two foregoing outputs, they are in accordance with the fundamental orientation of the aforementioned full-lengths. Based on a solid fundament, the tunes rely on strong riffs and resilient lines that prevent any touch of boredom. They are neither overloaded nor progressive, yet they do not lack of breaks and tempo variations which guarantee the necessary variety. The patterns of the individual songs do not differ in a substantial manner. Nevertheless, the majority of the tracks possesses at least a minimum of more or less unique features. For example, "Striving for a Piece of Lucifer" has an excellently flowing guitar line, the remorseless guitar work of "Rust" grows menacingly and "In Honour of Thy Name" combines staccato riffing with a profound, slow-moving middle part. Moreover, these songs deliver cold, edgy riffs and rather insane drumming. Despite their generous playtime, they avoid lame sections with great ease.

"Black metal is the devil's fuel" is an excerpt of the closer's lyrics. Yet it remains an open question whether the here gathered songs represent this sub genre. Let's have a look on typical black metal works in order to compare them with "Hate Them". Darkthrone's output has not much to do with the unholy intensity of "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas". Unlike "In the Nightside Eclipse", the work of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto does not combine weird melodies with a nightly aura. Finally, the rage of "Pure Holocaust" remains untouched. Therefore, I tend to say that "Hate Them" only reaches the outskirts of black metal. The songs score with violence and sleaziness, but the typical black metal aura remains absent. That is the reason why I would like to speak of a blackened thrash album. Furthermore, it seems as if Darkthrone appreciate the rawness and the rebelliousness of the punk movement. Anyway, thrash is dominating, inter alia because the production puts the focus on harshness while almost neglecting the creation of a diabolic aura. Nevertheless, the grim nagging and the piercing guitars transmit the feeling of discomfort.

"Hate Them" is a very good album, but it cannot offer legendary background stories. There is only one exception. At the time of its release, Fenriz said that its title refers to King Diamond's "Them". He did not get tired to point out that he did not like this album since its publication. Therefore, he preached that Darkthrone's album title should be understood as an invitation to hate "Them". I guess this kind of humour was the blackest element of the here presented full-length.