by Ray Henry (mouthforwar.net)
I’m not entirely sure what to make of Hate’s eighth full-length effort, Solarflesh. It’s part Morbid Angel, mostly Behemoth (think Evangelion), sometimes blackened, sometimes not. What I do know about the nine tracks on this album is that there is zero remorse or a single fuck given with regard to your well being. This bunch of Polish Hell-mongers delivers the blasphemous goods with a solid performance and unrelenting delivery.
After the lengthy opening instrumental that sort of leans on marshal drum beats and industrial atmospherics (and female vocals courtesy Greek singer Androniki Skoula), the guys get down to business with the monstrous “Eternal Might.” The opening growls and first few moments certainly carry a Behemoth-esque quality to it, but they do well to avoid any more trappings and shift up the track to include snaking melodies and plenty of double bass. I’ll give it to lead growler Adam the First Sinner (AFS from here on). He’s certainly got some chops and oomph to his barking growls. Just check out the opening salvo of his delivery on “Alchemy of Blood,” a song with some seriously soulful lead guitar work.
“Festival of Slaves” marks not only the midpoint of the album, but also one of the more divergent tracks on the album. The band incorporates appropriate sound bytes and an overall more dramatic and epic sound. It’s a big song that demands to be heard. It’s not as frantic as most of the album, but the slowed pace and more dynamic structure help it stand out. The title track starts off slowly with distant, industrial noise and acoustic guitar with a Medeterranean feel — both of which are soon overtaken by driving riffs and manic, blasting drums as well as some interesting progressive influences.
I’m not all that familiar with Hate’s back catalog, so I can only compare it to what I have heard both from the band and their contemporaries. And I can say that despite a heavy Behemoth influence throughout Solarflesh, these guys certainly know how to play some destructive death metal. The album’s powerful production only adds to the enjoyment of the music within. At nearly 50 minutes in length, it’s a bit of an investment to sit through from start to finish, but the band does well to throw you a few curveballs to keep you interested for the duration.