'Solarflesh' is the eigth full length from Polish blackened death Metal quartet Hate. It has been three years since their previous album, 'Erebos’, and this is probably their most brutal, technically dynamic and ambitious offering to date.
As the instrumental opening track, 'Watchful Eye Of Doom' progresses, so a sense of anticipation builds with haunting, almost tribal drum beats and dark dirty guitars, a dark and magnificent beginning to the album.
The sound builds further with intense waves of drum work on 'Eternal Might' and it takes almost two minutes for the deep, harsh, sinister vocals to kick in but when they do they are it's like a blast to the face, classic Polish extreme Metal vocals. I also love the haunting riff that repeats throughout.
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Many of the tracks are heavily laced with fast, intense and almost overwhelmingly powerful drum work, another common and great aspect about Polish Metal, but 'Alchemy Of Blood' also boasts some exciting guitar work towards its latter end.
Again on 'Timeless Kingdom', in amongst the intense vocals and manic drum work there is a beautiful guitar section towards the end of the track. Opening with an interesting soundscape, traces of which seem to hover beneath the surface and emerge periodically, almost softening the sheer intensity of the aural assault on 'Festival Of Slaves'.
'Sadness Will Last Forever' also begins with a soundscape and this time it's very bleak and melancholic and as the guitar and drum work phases in. This feeling continues and you are engulfed in the dark melancholy, there is also almost a bleak groove to this track from the repeat pattern that runs throughout, before fading out with the soundscape again, the longest track of the album and one of my favourites.
'Solarflesh' opens on a brief, eastern sounding, ominous feeling soundscape followed by an extended brutal instrumental opener before the equally brutal vocals arrive, the pounding riffs and drums are balanced with some more melodic elements to make this an exciting title track.
Slower hypnotic repeat riffs sandwiched between soaring elements that become more deliberating towards the end making 'Endless Purity' an interesting, powerful and memorable track.
For the final track, 'Mesmerised', the tempo picks up, again almost a bleak groove to the track and the haunting female vocal wails found in the opening track return to add a lot of depth and atmosphere to the overall sound, an excellent end to an excellent album.
The overall production is powerful and polished, the clever use, but not over use of soundscapes across the album sets 'Hate’, for me, slightly aside from many their fellow brutal Polish brethren, making them, to my mind, a little more imaginative and creative.
Don't misunderstand me, I love Polish Metal in general, but I really love 'Hate' and 'Solarflesh' is just such an excellent example of extreme Polish Metal.