Album Review: Hate – Auric Gates of Veles 8.3 (Black Metal)

Written by Mass

  • Hate
  • Auric Gates of Veles
  • Blackened death metal
  • Poland
  • 14th June 2019
  • 8.3/10


Bask in Great Nothing Which was Once our World

Despite having formed a year earlier than Behemoth, Hate has always been in the shadow of their more distinguished compatriots. As it is very common within this domain, they have undergone several (read many) personnel changes. But approximately three decades into their career, they have established themselves with stumping iron feet and bellowing screams of triumph. It was in 2017 that they released Tremendum, a paradigm-shift in their long career and a praiseworthy album for certain. 2019 marks a second step toward their new destination; it is Auric Gates of Veles that further emphasizes their trajectory away from the so frequent themes of sacrilege and toward a more deeply pagan sphere, in particular probing and reflecting the Slavic rituals and folktales, at the same time having an eye on lesser known tales of other parts of the world.

The opening track, Seventh Manvantara, is an example of a borrowed subject matter which draws upon Hinduism and Zoroastrianism. The song that follows is Triskhelion, another instance of loan motifs, this time from Celtic traditions, but it also encompasses more of central and even western Europe. Salve Ignis and Generation Sulphur are the ones which deal with Roman themes and myths. The rest, to the best of my knowledge, revolve around Slavic and eastern European pagan and nature-inspired folklores.

In addition to this thematic transition, their music has undergone a minute alteration. It is inclined toward black, straightforward black, somewhat toward an eviler and darker sound – take Sovereign Sanctity as the prime example of blackness. It is not devoid of Death, however. The title track (Auric Gates of Veles) is classic blackened death which best reflects the whole essence of the album. And the scale of Hate’s grandeur.

The artist behind this album cover is Andrzej Masianis. – CarcassBomb

As far as the music is concerned, on this album, drumming takes precedence, even over vocals and, all thanks to Paweł “Pavulon” Jaroszewicz’s ruthless, heavy-machine-gun-like style of drumming; he leaves no room for complaints – just refer to Salve Ignis and Generation Sulphur to grasp the dynamism of drums. But if you thought for a moment that Adam “ATF Sinner” Buszko has fallen behind, you should think again. He delivers top notch vocals, comprehensible deep growls which can showcase his intense ability in performing forceful vocals. However, the downside of this album is the absence of bass. Other than the bonus track, Path to Arkhen (Pre-Production Version), the other songs lacked moments for the bass to present itself, perhaps due to the fact that guest musicians had this duty and the band preferred to keep them in the margins.

On the whole, this album is a work each Hate fan can be proud of and it corroborates that these Polish old-timers are still at the forefronts of blackened death and not only that, but also they are pushing the boundaries of their realm even further, testing new waters, never ceasing to amaze the metalheads community.

Highlights: Sovereign Sanctity – Salve Ignis – Seventh Manvantara

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