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Total Hate > Depopulating Planet Earth > Reviews > Perplexed_Sjel
Total Hate - Depopulating Planet Earth

Depopulating Planet Earth. - 60%

Perplexed_Sjel, January 4th, 2009

A raw sub genre of black metal has existed pretty much since the creation of the genre itself. In actual fact, raw black metal is usually inspired by the originators of the second wave, bands like Darkthrone, and that busy buzzing noise that the era generated. Bad production, tremolo repetition and the most evil conjuration on vocals typified the sound of the olden generation, or what some consider the golden generation, the era when all the best material was created and since then, things have deteriorated into a perpetual state of negativity which doesn’t just exist in the music, but is the music itself. Black metal seems to force a great divide between the fans. There are those that appreciate the olden days more, which are long gone but not forgotten and then there are those who appreciate the modern era and its twist and variation on the traditions that bands like the aforementioned Darkthrone laid down which gave us a basis of material upon which we could judge newer spawns of the black metal genre, and its many sub genres, against. Total Hate, another German reincarnation of the second wave are here to anal probe us with their misanthropic and Satanic vision of black metal. ‘Depopulating Planet Earth’ is a traditional piece, which a few variations on the old take which gives their material fresh appeal. There must be something in the water in Germany because no matter what the fans have to throw at their musicians, they always have an answer to the dubious questions that plague the genre in this troubled modern era.

This debut, which has agonisingly taken a remarkable eight years to release, is a worthy effort for its genre, the raw sub genre, but does not produce the same sort of consistency that other, more notable sub genres creates. The constant buzzing that the instrumentation draws out does not bode well in the long run and can begin to stem the flow of creativity, which is negatively effected by the production and limited style that continuously restricts the dynamism and innovation. Despite the obvious flaws of such a sub genre, Total Hate do manage to gain some plaudits for an approach which does at least try to do something different with the ragged and weary depiction that they use to portray their rather clichéd lyrical themes of hatred, misanthropy and Satanism. Reminiscent of recent bands like Sweden’s Avsky, Total Hate are competing in a sub genre that still seems highly marketable amongst black metal fans, thus making the field even tougher to compete in and lead in. Total Hate don’t quite have the maturity or the skill to fuse their different sounding instruments into one coherent noise that exists to terrorise the population. Yes, it does do a good job at detailing the downfall of humanity with its passionate vocals, which perhaps overkill on the screeching and the repetitious vibe that fixates itself on the listener. Of course, with a sound like this, elements like bass are deeply effected and often omitted from having its say.

‘Depopulating Planet Earth’ is, as previously stated, a traditional slice of black metal in the present day. The raw sub genre, which I personally feel this record falls into, often has a habit of sounding far too synthetic for its own good, thus creating problems for itself and numerous fatal flaws which means the faltering opinions are only further justified, as opposed to having some redeeming aspects to fall back on. Overall, I’m not too fond of the raw sub genre. I have no problem with fast paced music, but the hazy effect that this genre complies upon the listener just gives me a headache. In my grand old age, I’m looking for subtlety and more so often than not, a dose of calm and relaxing music. Once in a while, of course, its great to kick back with an angst ridden piece of material that will metaphorically kick you in the genitals repeatedly because it does seem to relief some tension and in the long run, does itself induce a calming effect within me. Limitations are a problematic source of constant annoyance as Total Hate begin to sound the same as the record draws to its close. Although there may be some redeeming features, the bigger picture is about as bleak as the atmospheric tendencies, which prove rather clichéd too as they continue to depict the desolation of the Christian world.

Songs like ‘Invocation of the Fallen Angel’ do at least aim to take a different direction, spicing things up with creative solos and lead riffs that are really rather enjoyable. The twin guitar performances are the most noteworthy contribution to the piece, levelling up the scores between the good and the bad, the sublime and the downright average. If this record were a colour, it would be grey. Though this record does supply a hefty amount of passion, the odd form and content stress the listener out. Unusual undertones that resemble a sombre feel, with one guitarist seemingly adding a semi-acoustic pattern to the background. The odd song structures lead to a lot of confusion. Too much double bass, clean production that doesn’t do anything to enhance the ‘dirty’ feel of the music and confusing variations in the soundscapes which turn from a constant blaring noise (I.E. too much double bass and over exaggeration of vocals, which are screeched) and softer textures on songs like ‘Essence Of Evil’ which begins superbly, but fades away with repetition. Reviewing this record is difficult because, whilst it sounds the same to a great extent (lots of repetition), it does actually contain more subtle reworking of an old genre. Perhaps, with time, Total Hate can harness this early potential and recognise their own abilities by producing a second effort that scales the heights of the top of the leader board.