HATE "Erebos"

SVARTCROWN  "Witnessing the Fall"

By Dr. Abner Mality

If you just can't get enough bile and brimstone in your diet, I suggest a steady supply of blackened death metal. Or is it deathly black metal? Either way, this niche genre has plenty of practitioners such as Behemoth and Belphegor. Two more infernal legions are Hate and Svartcrown, whom I shall now place on my dissecting table.

Poland's Hate is definitely the more established of the two. These guys have been plying their evil trade since the early 90's so they are closing in on 20 years of service to Our Lord Satan. Upon hearing "Erebos", I can understand their longevity...but I can also understand why they haven't joined their Polish brothers Behemoth on top of the heap. "Erebos" is a raging yet cleanly produced assault of fast death metal with a blackened tinge and the slightest touch of industrial. The industrial aspects have been toned down except for a few stretches of bleeps and blats, leaving Hate to pound skulls with "Lux Aeterna", "Transsubstance" and the title track. They do an excellent job of it, yet by the end of "Erebos", the one-note nature of their attack had become plain and the last couple of tunes such as "Wrists" and "Luminous Horizon" entered the realm of tedium. The vocals of Adam The First Sinner mirror the problems of the band....they are ferocious and full, but lacking a twist. Hate are a satisfying band, but not a transcendent one and I don't see "Erebos" breaking them out.

Svartcrown are not rookies, but they are surely a fresher face. Maybe that's the reason that "Witnessing The Fall" sounds more urgent and immediate than "Erebos". The band is actually working the same realm of blackened death as Hate, but there's an insane quality to "Into a Demential Sea" and "An Eternal Descent" that sinks in pretty deep. It's reminiscent of some of the more "out there" moments of Morbid Angel. Other tunes such as "Colosseum" and "Dog of Gods" have a Norse, battle metal feel to them, while "Of Sulphur And Fire" gives a slow, simmering stew of death. These Frenchmen have a bit more variation to their assault and in fact, they give giants like Behemoth a run for their blood money here.

A tip of the ten-horned crown to Svartcrown then, as well as hopes that Hate will someday come up with that break-out release.