Review Summary: Ending the decade on a high note
The Polish metal scene has been launching over the last thirty years several bands that have achieved remarkable notoriety, being Vader, Decapitated and especially Behemoth the most successful products of this extreme metal factory. Like other well-known Polish acts, Hate belongs to a second line of bands that, despite not having the notoriety of the three bands I mentioned earlier, have managed to build a respectable career over the years.
With a Behemoth-esque blackened death metal signature, Hate is one of those bands condemned to live in the shadow of something bigger, and given the close proximity of the band's sound with Nergal & Co, this omnipresent shadow was indeed inevitable and unescapable. This resemblance should be seen as a style closeness and not as something necessarily negative or censurable.
The single "Sovereign Sanctity" had already lifted the veil over the direction Auric Gates of Veles
would take. The mid-paced song revealed a greater focus on black metal aesthetics, building a contagious ambience that engulfs us for more than 6 minutes, culminating in an epic crescendo finale, which is also the most exciting moment of Auric Gates of Veles
. This more blackened approach is confirmed as we start listening to the album, which kicks off tremendously well with three of the album's strongest songs, of which I highlight "The Volga's Veins", whose straightfoward ferocity sometimes resembles Belphegor. By this time, I had already realized Auric Gates of Veles
was significantly better than its predecessor, all songs added something to the whole, and I hadn't yet encountered any monotonous or stagnant moments, sometimes present in the band's more polished and cerebral approach. The second half doesn't disappoint, being equally interesting and aesthetically consistent with previous songs, which demonstrates Auric Gates of Veles
is not a product of chance or the result of a couple of rehearsals, everything was thought out in detail, to produce a certain effect, under a common concept. "Salve Ignis" features an unexpected Funeral Mist-esque riff, that immediately caught my ear, and "Generation Sulphur" is the strong ender the album deserved, being also one of the highlights.
But despite its fairly consistency, the album lacks the element of surprise and greater contrasts within and between songs, that could take Auric Gates of Veles
to another level.
With Auric Gates of Veles
, Hate ends the decade on a high note, and even if it's not enough to achieve the notoriety or success of their omnipresent countrymates, it will surely be remembered as one of the band's most interesting albums to date.