Jools Green
The Abyss
9th June 2019


Hate took a bold move with their previous full length, 2017s 'Tremendum', which had more of an atmospheric, Black Metal oriented edge to that distinct Hate style and sound rather than that harsher edged Death Metal leaning of previous albums, but they've always been consistently good, always evolving and developing their sound since they caught my attention in a big way with 2008s 'Morphosis'.

With full length number eleven, 'Auric Gates Of Veles', they've pulled back and perfectly bridged that realm between Black and Death with an album that is a little more Death Metal orientated aiming for and achieving, as described by vocalist/guitarist ATF Sinner: "A sharper and better defined rhythm section" with a guitar sound that is intended to be "a wall of sonic destruction with dark ambient elements in the background", overall making a very impressive listen and their best ever album...

...until the next album, as I can't imagine them not continuing to hone their sound even further.


Lyrically 'Auric Gates Of Veles' delves further into the realms of Slavonic lore and mysticism with "Veles as the central figure in most lyrics on the album... a Slavic deity representing the dark element of existence".

'Auric Gates Of Veles' is eight tracks, intensely crushing end to end all bearing unmistakable Hate trademark traits but all very different, be it the opener, 'Seventh Manvantara' which is about "the deepest roots of the Slavic world, Indo-Iranian civilization, with the prophet Zoroaster as one of the main figures... unfolding like a journey through the civilizations to which Zoroastrianism built foundations", and where a low drone heralds a wall of riffs and blistering wave of drum work, an intense track from the offset, yet containing a subtle melodic undercurrent completed by squealing thrashy leads or the punchy and intense onslaught of 'Triskhelion' with its melodic soaring leads.

'The Volga's Veins' has a galloping dark thrashy delivery and "offers a perspective on some events in the history of Russia, seen through the eyes of the River Volga, witnessing some of the most bloody conflicts in the country's history" while 'Sovereign Sanctity' is slower and darker to open but a track which twists and turns with intense bursts and thrashy gallops and superb soaring lead work; such an impactful track, arguably the best of the album, a hard to make statement when the rest are so good also, superbly constructed and delivered and unnervingly emotive. It's an absolute anthem about "someone dying in battle but not leaving the material world completely... "still existing beyond the material world, making a long a journey throughout the realm of Veles to finally return".

'Path To Arkhen' pulsates with power, title track 'Auric Gates Of Veles' is also slower, dark and haunting with its superbly poignant phrasing and hypnotic repeat and the dark and sinister 'Salve Ignis' contains an intense second half lead delivery, the raw 'Generation Sulphur' has excellent building riff patterns and shredding lead work over blackened riffing, making it a dense and intense closer, all completed by ATF's harsh, deep growl.

The superb 'Auric Gates Of Veles' is out on Metal Blade Records on 14th June as a digipak CD or vinyl.



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