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Aesthetical Rebirth of Black Metal - 84%

Lycaon, August 12th, 2004

One of the most well-hidden and underground acts in the black metal scene, Hate Forest are also one of the most controversial due to their "aryan" concept, which however does not fall into the category of propaganda but has to do with ancestry, nature and religion. No big words here, kids (ok, apart from that "concerning subhumans" part).

Hate Forest's 3d album blasts from the very beggining a wave of frostbitten (sic) guitars, deep death vocals combined with the classic shrieking screams, an ambient low-pitched keyboard loop that is present during the whole first song and...a not very impressive drum machine that at least provides a solid backround for the other instruments to spread. The production in general is very good, guitar-orientated so that it produces the wall-of-sound effect and emphasizing in low frequencies, which in addition with the vocals gives the band a more death metal feeling (though not as much as in "The Gates" minicd). It is obvious from the start that minimalism is the musical outlook of this band concerning black metal; you will not find technical Death metal expirimentations or neo-prog interludes but you will sense black metal in its most repetitive and pure version. Fortunately however, Hate Forest seem to know the borders between ambient-like mototony and dullness, and are eager to throw in another riff or a change in rythym when needed. If there are two albums that we can compare to the sound of this release, that would be Battles In the North and Hvis Lysset Tar Oss, the former in the structure of most of the riffs and the trademark rythmical change between blastbeat and double bass beat, as well as the acoustic standpoint of the band, and the latter in the two 10 minute opus (opi?) of the album, "the gates" and "the immortal ones". Generally, it doesn't look to me that Hate Forest with this album wanted to create something that would take black metal to new heights, more possibly to bring back a long forgotten feeling of this music; when the last riff of the nihilistic "desert of ice" fades out into oblivion and the silent monologue of the guitar outro begins, the whole world seems to freeze; and someone can almost feel the endless landscapes of the artwork come into life; purity indeed is what this music carries into you.

All in all, this album is not what I would recommend to newcomer blackmetallers, it requires a certain amount of experience to decipher the aesthetic value of the work beyond the formulative structure and the monotony that turns away so many listeners yet enchants so many others.