Watching Closely – Hate: Solarflesh

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Watching Closely – Hate: Solarflesh
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Hate: Solarflesh

As some of you may know by now, the Blackened Death Metal group Hate has been picked up by Napalm Records for a 2013 release. This is one of the big named groups that the label will be working with this year, but also one of the least known here in North America. Given how well crafted and executed their previous album was, I didn’t waste too much time to give their eigth studio album a quick spin. What I found was a promising piece of Metal for the brand new year.

Solarflesh will actually drop first on January 30th of 2013 in Spain, Finland, Sweden, and Norway. The album will eventually make it’s way to North America on February 5th. It’s quite a long trek, but given the few days of difference, you can make it until then. Split into nine different tracks, this album definitely departs from their previous outting quite a bit. Yes, some of the modern Behemoth concepts are still in full force, but the atmosphere to this release is a little more on the mystical side. And that’s one of the things that makes this album really appealing.

That one element is felt pretty much the moment Solarflesh starts. The album kicks off with a pretty strong introductory track, and it just goes on from there into “Eternal Might” for quite some time. From here, the music does tread back into a more aggressive approach, but there’s a darker tone with some catchy riffs that offer a much darker world to explore, working with the lyrics in every step of the recording. The often hopeless and crushing environments replace a brutal and fast pace assault with slower compositions that pack just as much bite as if they had been playing at full speed. Sure, this happens from time to time again, but there’s no denying Hate are treading into a more restricted space this time around, especially the deeper you seem to get into the album when things slow down dramatically and become more like a out of body experience that twists and contorts even further down the rabbit hole.

Basically put, it’s as if you’re walking through a hallucinagenic nightmare. Some songs will shake you a little more than others, but then you happen upon the slower offerings that really grab you with twisted musical visuals that you can easily place scenes around thanks to the dim artwork that adorns the cover of the release. The longer passages often give more of a musical landscape to draw ideas from, but some of the shorter tracks end up quite engaging, even adding some extra technicality in the guitar work to truly add a unique experience to the recording.

One spin through Solarflesh was enough for me to realize that this is definitely going to be one of the more important albums to kick start 2013 off with. If you’re a fan of the Blackened Death Metal approach, and are rather sick of the trend Behemoth had started, then this album will show that an old dog can really learn new tricks. Atmospheric, creepy, dismal, and hopeless, this looks to be one of the best albums Hate has issued so far, and it’s one that needs to be heard. If this group is new to you, be sure to put Solarflesh up towards the top of must hear albums in the coming months.

Hate (band)
Hate

Digital material for this article provided by Napalm Records.