Tremendum by HateRelease date: May 5, 2017
Label: Napalm Records
Poland’s Hate walk the jagged line between death and black metal, two opposing forces that have noticeably different styles but when brought together manifest a crushing sound booming with underworld atmospheres and meaty riffage. Hate certainly rage with everything that defines this genre, though have sadly lurked in the shadows of more prominent bands, and just can’t seem to escape an article without the mention of being compared to Behemoth. Oops.
My relationship with Hate has been hit and miss as have been their run of albums. For some, they are the yellow capped yeast extract of blackened death metal, though I make a point not to judge a band or most things for that matter by previous releases I went into this review with very open ears.
Frontman and founder Adam Buszko, who I hear sinned first, has had an unfortunate few years leading up to the release of shaky previous full length Crusade:Zero. With band members leaving and the tragic and untimely passing of bassist Sławomir “Mortifer” Arkhangelsky in 2013 the resilient frontman has found comfort in tenth album Tremendum, progressing into a more black metal sound darkly tinged with the deep pounding menace of death metal.
Lead single ‘Asuric Being’ opens with the battle march of drums backed with murky foreboding atmospheres. Previous release Crusade:Zero was heavily criticised for over use of ‘intro’ pieces in lieu of praising its storming brilliance, mainly for the two back-to-back oddities at the albums start that just seemed very out of place. Luckily this ominous introduction has a place and builds to a wrecking ball in shape of Pavulon’s pummelling blast beats and the interweaving swarm of dissonant chaotic guitars. The track slows to a dooming climax with Adam’s twisted snarls of “everyone becomes dust” sending apocalyptic chills. ‘Indestructible Pillar’ wastes no time demonstrating Hate’s blackened death simplicity pairing precision blasts with uncomplicated riffs forming a by-the-book number, but throw in those chaos-driven buzzing guitars and one fucking colossal solo at the end and simplicity becomes a more intricate and ravaging matter.
The intro to ‘Svarog’s Mountain’ is particularly doom-laden and flaunts the somewhat ritualistic drum patterns that recur throughout the album in various shapes. Doom brings a storm of barbaric blast beats and clattering cymbal crashes before breaking midpoint into a gorgeous guitar solo and shifting once again into the pitter-patter of drums. The timing and structure changes on this album by the way are incredible. ‘Fidelis Ad Mortem’ is a blistering assault of blast beats and epic skin-peeling riffage. Adam is on fine gut-spewing form especially in the final minute where he pours out the blackened bile of the soul. Delve deeper into the tracks and you will discover engaging lyrics which I thoroughly urge you to read.
Sounding like a cheesy 80s supernatural cop show ‘Ghostforce’ showcases perhaps the albums most melodic moments albeit with a handful of destructive blast beats and Adam’s trademark fire spitting vocals adding coal to the furnace. Final track ‘Walk Through Fire’ is pure venom. Bitter and scathing with furious shock waves of blasting drums and devious screaming guitar work all culminating in a beautifully bleak fade-out of restrained blast beats and howling solos. It is the fitting end to a wonderful album and a fine example of how to do blackened metal with a deathly bite.
Tremendum is tremendous. Make no mistake, it’s not perfection but a huge striding leap forward into great things. Packed with confidence and a concise forward-thinking resolve, Tremendum will hopefully see a milestone development in Hate’s shifting sound towards darker more malevolent paths, perhaps even being consumed by the blacker metal side entirely, which is certainly where their fame will grow. Regardless, Hate deserve a standing ovation for this release due to its grit and ferocious transitional style, compelling themes and the damn savage nature of these ten auditory gut-blasts. One thing is for sure, don’t you dare reduce them to a mere comparison, this album has legs that’ll carry them into dominance. Tremendum is a passionate and bold statement from a band redefining their Hate.