Published Jun 13, 2019Polish blackened death metal band Hate are back with Auric Gates of Veles, an album steeped in Slavic mysticism and far more black metal influence than before.
Hate dial back the death metal on this record for a more black metal-forward sound. The Behemoth-esque riffs of their previous albums are still heard on tracks like "Triskhelion," but more often serve as punctuation to black metal passages. The style feels very old-school Norwegian black metal, with grinding guitars forming an icy wall of sound over an unyielding blast beat, courtesy of drummer Pavulon. His drumming is the backbone of this album, often breathing life into tired tracks like "Salve Ignis."
The fatal flaw of Auric Gates of Veles is that it lacks atmosphere. The album is held together by tightly woven blast beats and speed-picking guitars, leaving no room for suffocating or spacious moments. It's similar to an Immortal record, but without the energy. A big reason for that is ATF Sinner's vocal performance, which always suited their previous sound, but over this style of music, his growl and static delivery fall flat. The music doesn't convincingly convey its themes or emotions the way a band like Wolves in the Throne Room do.
Hate went over the deep end and left little to no room in their sound for death metal. While their discography has been hit and miss over the years, albums like Solarflesh made it clear that what they do best is a careful mix of black and death metal. Auric Gates of Veles ventures too far into unfamiliar territory, resulting in a veritable black metal record that lacks coldness, atmosphere and new ideas. (Metal Blade)