Hate – Solarflesh

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When the band Hate is brought up amongst metal fans, it’s usually followed by the cries of them being a “Behemoth clone.” And if you’re saying that, you’d really only be correct in a few aspects. Both hail from Poland, both play a vicious brand of blackened/brutal death metal, hell the band members even look alike wearing the same style of corpse paint. But in all honesty, that’s pretty much where the comparisons end.

To be honest, Solarflesh is my first experience with these guys considering I was skeptical of them at first too. The name has always floated around, but I never had too much interest in actually listening to them. All I can say is that after listening to this album, I know I’ve been wrong in not checking them out earlier.

The opening track, Watchful Eye of Doom, is an instrumental that is almost ambient-esque with haunting female chants. Almost sounds like something you’d hear on a more recent Rotting Christ album. The two highlights of this album though are easily the guitar work and the drumming. Taking some lingo from users on Sputnikmusic, this album “riffs really hard.” You get an occasional break during the intros to some of the tracks, but other than that these guys don’t let up and you’ll find yourself tapping your leg and/or banging your head along to the riffs, most of which are very melodic yet still intense and crushing at the same time. Almost resembling the Gothenburg sound, but way more dissonant, extreme, and occult sounding. There’s even some acoustic work, check the beginning of the title track. The solos are excellent as well, most notably the one at the end of Timeless Kingdom. As for the drumming, this guy can do anything. Blast beats, excellent double bass work, mid-paced rhythmic stuff, anything you like. Just depends on the track I guess. As for the vocal work, it’s more like a less layered version of Nergal. A little more nasally and more of a really deep scream than an actual “death growl.” Very impressive though, just like everything else.

Look, if you’re a fan of the more old-school style and you’re against all of the new wave type of death metal bands, Solarflesh probably isn’t the album for you. Not to say these guys are a shitty modern tech death band like The Faceless or something like that because that’s completely untrue. Yes they have really good production and they don’t have that murky/muddy sound that we all love, but the point is, this album is excellent and if you enjoy blackened death metal in the slightest you should give it a chance. It will be worth your time.

Rating: 4.5/5

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