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BastardHead, December 9th, 2010

So Sweden's Godhate has some complex backstory involving a name change from the (far superior name in) Throneaeon, a few breakups, and Yoko Ono, but all the history is kind of a moot point. The band's first full length under their new moniker, Equal in the Eyes of Death, is memorable for one particularly bad reason. If the review title wasn't a big enough clue, Godhate are essentially Taiwanese sweat shop model of Vader.

Now, I love Vader, I really do. I've blabbered for eons about how they so perfectly focus on their patented brand of furious blasting death whilst still maintaining a strong songwriting sensibility and attention to groove and memorability. I like their sound, and I actually don't mind bands that take more than a few cues from them. On the other hand, there is one thing I don't like in any form, and that is complete, unabashed, unimaginative tributes to bands greater than your own. I'll admit, I haven't heard a single note of this band's music when they still had a cool name, so maybe this is just a fluke in the scope of their career, but under the name of Godhate, they've recorded one hell of a boring tribute album. "Infinity Shall Be" sounds like a slowed down and far less evocative version of "The Book" from Impressions in Blood, and the title track sounds like something cut from the De Profundis sessions. This should be a good thing, De Profundis is a masterful work of death metal, the finest cut of the cow, surely something that warrants a comparison must be at least somewhat good by default, right? Not necessarily. Imagine that the porterhouse steak of that album was chewed for 14 years before being spat back on your plate. That's Equal in the Eyes of Death in a nutshell. Godhate didn't cook their own steak, they just tried eating Vader's.

Despite this disgusting unoriginality, I must admit there is something underneath the music that keeps me from forgetting this entirely. The first three proper songs are great, with the first of which, "Godhate" actually bordering on fantastic. Maybe it's because all of the songs are extremely samey and they all start to stagnate at that point, but it isn't until the fourth proper song that things start to go downhill, but it's a hell of a steep slope. The well produced and decently written riffs start to blend together, the drumming is surprisingly well varied for a band that's emulating another band that's known for relentless blast beating, and the pure Peter Wiwczarek worship vocals become completely unnoticeable until they spew off some of the more childish lyrics ("DEATH TO GOD! DEATH TO JESUS!"). It seems like all of the good riffs were used up in the first three songs. And it's unfortunate because they're actually damn good riffs, even though they sounded better 15 years ago. I'm gonna try to stop hammering the De Profundis comparisons, so I guess I'll settle by saying they're good, old school, no frills, fast paced, half thrash death metal riffs. I realize I've used precisely one other band to compare them with, but it's seriously that bad. I guess there's some Morbid Angel in here as well, but the pride of Poland is probably about 90% of the influence here, and the vocals really help that comparison. Maybe if they were a bit more guttural or utilized the higher register more often, the deja vu wouldn't be so grating. But as it stands it's a perfectly understandable roar, exactly like some certain other band I don't have to name.

So really, Equal in the Eyes of Death isn't a bad listen per se, it's just a useless one since what they're doing has been done so similarly yet so superior several times before. It starts off pretty good but everything starts to blend after a while. Once again, I'll end this review with a story. One day, I was driving my little brother (who is a huge Vader fan) to football practice. I put this album on and told him it was the new Vader album. He liked it, said it was basically more of the same but nothing particularly bad. When we arrived at the practice field he looked at the album to see the name of it and thus figured out we were actually listening to Godhate. He said "Wow, it's strange, but the fact that that wasn't actually Vader actually made it kind of suck, even though it was good". Strange indeed, but also true. Rehash central.

I've heard better GODHATE - 70%

doomknocker, July 14th, 2010

I was able to get into the GODHATE swing of things a while back, reviewing their “Throneaeon” album back some months, and I believe I found such wares rather enjoyable. That said, I don’t think there’s anything to be said in this intro paragraph that won’t be seen as retreading older, previously mentioned thoughts, so I’ll just leap ahead into the album at hand.

Which begs the question…are we ALL equal in the eyes of death?

Going in, I knew I was going to be bombarded with the same chaotic riffery that is GODHATE to a T, and while I was right, I unfortunately would have to say that I’d heard better from them. Not that this is a bad album…not by any stretch, but rather, for as enjoyable as it was, I guess I was expecting a bit more in terms of heaviness and deathish brutality, which, while present, lack the punch of “Throneaeon”. The same SLAYER/MORBID ANGEL-dipped deathrash metal is in full capacity, in the same tight fashion in both production and performance, where the savage bladery of the guitar riffs, the machine gunnery of the drum work, and the inhuman gurgles of the vocals leave plenty to enjoy for even the most passive of metal folk. This makes for enjoyable listens, though, as I’d mentioned, something isn’t quite right here in GODHATE Town; that indescribable something is missing, leaving the songs quite hollow in approach, as though the band tried their damnedest to make the material sing performance-wise but sadly the compositions themselves just didn’t want to play along (although a few moments where musical strangeness is at hand, like the rather happy-sounding outro of “In Praise of Sin” and the piano noodlings at the end of “Infinity Shall Be”, which help churn the cauldron a bit more). That’s nothing to fault the band for (I know I don’t), so in this case I’m definitely giving them the benefit of the doubt, as songs like “Penance for the Wicked”, “Equal in the Eyes of Death” and “Dark Funeral” showcase more metallic elements than any popular “heavy” act would ever hope to possess.

In the end “Equal in the Eyes of Death” is a good album, though not what I would personally consider some of GODHATE’s best material. Still, they have plenty of potential to knock us all dead, and one day soon they just might. Keep at it, fellas.

A total mind blowing ball busting experience - 80%

twan666, March 23rd, 2010

From the cool, grey depths of Sweden a new aggression of Death Metal is spawned and it's name is Godhate. Formed back in 1991 originally under the name of Throneaeon then with the name change to Godhate in 1993 gave birth to what became one of the few existing Swedish Death Metal acts during the time of the Black Metal wave of take over. Godhate is one of the few existing bands still alive today whom have spawned from the second era of Swedish Death Metal.

After killing it with a few albums under their belt and having established a name for themseleves in the scene Godhate actually brokeup in late 2006 but Lucifer's calling would not let these souls rest and Godhate came back stronger than ever with a new line-up and music that is powerful enough to raise the dead. The demonic messengers who are known as Godhate are: Tony Freed - guitars + vocals, Björn Eriksson - bass ,Chris Johansson - guitars and Roger Sundqvist - drums. Former memerable members who helped spawn the seed of Godhate are: Andreas Dahlström and Göran Eriksson.

"The Eyes Of Death" is a total mind blowing ball busting experience to say the least. This album is extreme in sound, power and theme. There is never a dull moment within these tracks, great musicianship and tightly played with consistancy throughout. The vocals are anger filled and the riffs are burning the precussion is pure blood boiling rage. These tracks of killer speed also provide groove and a melody that would make great for a mosh pit tango. The sound here is definately in your face leaving no room for escape but then again who would want to escape the blasphemous atmosphere Godhate creates with "The Eyes Of Death".

If you are not offended by an anti-christian theme and are in full support of bringing down the religious mainstream plus do not mind hellish blasting sounds ripping through your entire being, possibley destroying what is left of your hearing then you will LOVE this alum and I then HIGHLY recommend you giving it a listen and if you have not already exprienced anything from this band prior please check them out.

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