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Evolution - 79%

Felix 1666, August 12th, 2019

Total Hate are an example for the kind of evolution I like. They did not modify their style until they played a completely different form of metal, they just improved their skills within the given frame. No doubt, there was plenty of room for improvement after the half-baked debut. Anyway, Total Hate have taken the right decisions during the last years and already the opener of their fourth full-length presents a riff which does not lack recognition value. The band accelerates the tempo and a pretty stormy black metal track unfolds. The production, this is also getting clear very quickly, has found the right balance between underground doctrines and hi-fi transparency and given this situation, I am motivated to dive deeply into the entire album.

The musicians still create martial, raw black metal which does not lack brutality or meanness. They have found the key to pen effective leads and the aura of the music matches the lyrical content. "Thou Shalt Kill (Killing Spree Unleashed)" speaks volumes in this respect, but let's stay at this song for a moment. The drummer intersperses some interesting figures and even if some might say this is just an irrelevant detail, I am of the opinion that this performance indicates a more meticulous approach of the band. No matter which side you choose, this is another great song that reflects the spirit of the old black metal Gods. By contrast, the following "Raven Wings & Witchcraft Spells" has to struggle in order to keep the quality level. Its riff is good, but it has been heard many times before. In addition, the mid-paced parts do not have the effect they should create and the gloomy guitars during the instrumental sequence does not send shivers down my spine.

No doubt, the stylish artwork mirrors the influences of the band. Norwegian pioneers such as Darkthrone and Immortal have left their mark (the partly mighty mid-paced closer comes straight out of Blashyrkh). The cruel voice and the vigorous leads reanimate the force of those pioneers in their early days and the quasi-title track "His Throne Beyond a Black Veil" is a worthy flagship of this work. Its almost solemn atmosphere brings the best moments of Sweden's Pest into my mind. Nevertheless, usually the dudes from Nuremburg prefer a pretty rumbling yet professional approach. With very few exceptions, the songs are convincing and add value to the global scene with its roughly 50.000 underground combos. If you do not have much time, test the shortest track here, "Death Raid Apocalypse". Despite its pretty stupid title, it shows that Total Hate are able to manage fast-paced, compact tunes as well as their usually longer pieces. Perhaps they increase the number of this kind of songs in the future? This would be another type of evolution I appreciate.

Total Love - 75%

SweetLeaf95, August 7th, 2019

Now and then I like to dip my feet into the pool of black metal. I recently came across a band known as Total Hate, a group of Germans that banded together back in 2000. Since then, they’ve erected four full-lengths, and the newest release Throne Behind A Black Veil is what caught my attention. To my understanding, this seems relatively traditional to the genre, fitting in with the second-wave quite well.

What allowed this to snatch my attention was the fact that it isn’t overly muddy and has a bit of concise fastening to it. “Thou Shalt Kill (Killing Spree Unleashed) is crammed with raw and buzzing riffs that establish a mood very well. The drum work on this one is stellar, as the patterns are unique and aren’t so one-dimensional. Admittedly they do get that way for a lot of this release, but that isn’t atypical. Another one that breaks the ice is “Decline Of Human Life Pt. 2,” thanks to its beefy midsection and the melody that came from easing up a bit.

As one might predict, there is also an abundant amount of tremolo-picking as well as plenty of echo added to the mix. This shows the most at the beginning of “His Throne Behind A Black Veil,” but you can find it just about anywhere. After a while, I found it to be quite tiresome, as it makes the songs blend together. I did like the atmosphere in “Lunatic Beast,” given it brightens things up just the tiniest bit.

All in all Throne Behind A Black Veil was a worthwhile listen, and it hit everything I’d expect from a black metal release. Those who aren’t into this style likely won’t need to revisit, but nothing is bad by any means. Really, I think it also suffers from being too long and could stand to be sanded down. If nothing else, I’d at least listen to “Thou Shalt Kill (Killing Spree Unleashed)” since it’s easily a standout

Originally written for Indy Metal Vault