Poland has offered the world of heavy music some of its biggest names. From BEHEMOTH‘s ritualistic sermons, DECAPITATED‘s mind-boggling riffing and VADER‘s sonic assault, the Polish metal scene is vast and populated with quality bands. Dig ever so slightly beneath the surface and this becomes ever more valid. HATE are one such band. The Polish outfit have a rich tapestry of music that spans for nearly three decades now as their approach to death metal fused with elements of black metal has resulted in a largely successful career in metal’s extreme. 2017 sees the arrival of album number ten, Tremendum; a milestone in itself. But does this new offering keep HATE‘s campaign for sonic destruction surging forward?
Throughout HATE‘s lengthy career, the band have consistently refined their craft and Tremendum is a product of a band who know how to bring out the best in their sound. Bombastic percussion, destructive riffs and a soundscape that is gargantuan in size and scope is what is on offer here and across the record’s duration, HATE leaves you gasping for breath.
Opening track Asuric Being creates a menacing atmosphere through solitary militaristic drumming from Pavulon before the track unfolds in explosive rhythm through copious blast beats, sinister guitar play and guttural blasts from Atf Sinner. From there, as the track unfolds each element of the band’s expansive sound is explored which helps hook your attention. From the guitar play subsiding and the consistent double bass kicks from Pavulon‘s drumming taking centre stage to the surging presence of Atf Sinner‘s growls, each aspect of HATE‘s sound holds up well enough to build anticipation. It’s a subtle technique but one that HATE utilise effectively to create a truly captivating atmosphere.
Contrary to the sustained opening of Asuric Being, Indestructible Pillar opens to a flurry of blasts from Pavulon‘s drums and scaling riffs that keep the pace pushed to the absolute limit. Backed up with a sprinkling of melody in the lead guitar play adds a brief respite whilst Svarog’s Mountain boasts haunting lead guitar play that captures your attention with progressive and maintained rhythm in the drumming keeps the intensity alive. For all their musical showmanship, where Tremendum really shines however, is with the utilisation of momentum to create a gripping and suffocating atmosphere. As the record unfolds the pacing ebbs and flows effortlessly, giving an incredibly organic feel to the album. Numinosum builds anticipation through consistently hypnotic rhythm which allows Atf Sinner‘s guttural growls to really stand out before a wicked crescendo is unleashed in the track’s finale whereas Into Burning Gehenna snaps into quick bursts of explosive speed before receding back into a mid-tempo rhythm giving the track room to breathe and develop. It is moments like this where Tremendum truly showcases HATE firing on all cylinders.
Whilst Tremendum is certainly an organic record, there are moments where the killing blow misses the target, leaving the album feeling flat. For example Sea of Rubble‘s repetitive closing riff quickly becomes tedious and the unnecessary length lingers leaving the closure lacking impact and Fidelis Ad Mortem lacks anything truly spectacular to help the track stand on it’s own two feet. Whilst these drops in quality are disappointing and shows that there is still room for improvement, they are not catastrophically damaging to the overall impact of the album.
By this point in their career, HATE know their musical formula through and through and Tremendum showcases a band refining their craft to create another strong offering to the extensive back catalogue. Yes, there are moments that feel weak and flat, but that does not detract from Tremendum‘s ability to ensnare your attention through a whirlwind of extreme metal. Tremendum is another strong offering from HATE, it is a record that will sit comfortably for anyone who is familiar with the band’s previous work and for those who have an ear for the extreme.
Tremendum is set for release on May 5th via Napalm Records.
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