posted on 9/2008 By:
My first encounter with the band Hate was a review of their third album, Cain’s Way that I read several years ago which compared the band to Vader. Being an ardent Vader fan, I was intrigued. However, in a classic case of so many bands, so little time, I never got around to actually listening to a Hate album until I signed up to review their sixth full length album, Morphosis. It would seem that Hate has either changed their sound in the intervening years or the review I read fell prey to the practice of comparing every polish death metal band to Vader. Hate does bear some resemblance to Vader in the merciless precision of their delivery and their distaste for Jesus, but on Morphosis, Hate’s brand of death metal is far more melodically adventurous than Vader’s straight ahead style. Morphosis is riddled with sliding octaves and ringing open chords that give Hate’s sound a black metal feel that at times brings to mind the epic compositions of Emperor and at other times the chaotic blackened death metal onslaught of later day Behemoth or Belphegor.
After the obligatory, but mercifully brief intro of random spooky noises, “Threnody” sets the tone for the album, beginning in standard death metal fashion with some meaty riffing and a quick face melting solo before switching to black metal styled high end tremolo riffs over blast beats. Towards the end of the track the band introduces the type of ringing arpeggiated chord progression which will become a hallmark of the album. The rest of the songs all follow a similar blueprint employing the aforementioned techniques in various effective combinations. A couple of the album’s more memorable moments are the massive groove of the main theme in “Resurrection Machine”, a muted, jack hammering riff reminiscent of classic Fear Factory and the insistent chiming hook of “The Angelistic Pain”, which has wormed its way into my brain to the point where I hear it in my sleep.
Morphosis has a few minor flaws: First, the production is a little too bright for my taste; the band focuses a great deal on speed and melody, so when the heavy parts do come it is important that they hit hard and the production in this case is lacking the required grit and low end punch to make that happen. Second, the bass drums sound like a typewriter and tend to tick incessantly through some sections in such a manner as to become seemingly disassociated from the rest of the music.
Quibbles aside, Morphosis is an impressive effort with a unique take on melodic death metal. Fans of said style looking for something with more teeth than the average Gothen-clone should definitely give Morphosis a listen.
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