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Hate - "Crusade:Zero" (CD)

Hate - "Crusade:Zero" CD cover image

"Crusade:Zero" track listing:

1. Vox Dei (a Call From Beyond)
2. Lord, Make Me An Instrument Of Thy Wrath
3. Death Liberator
4. Leviathan
5. Doomsday Celebrities
6. Hate Is The Law
7. Valley Of Darkness
8. Crusade Zero
9. The Omnipresence
10. Rise Omega The Consequence!
11. Dawn Of War
12. Black Aura Debris

Reviewed by on April 8, 2015

"If you want loads of dark atmosphere but not a lack of heaviness or harsh vocals, Hate is definitely the band to fill the spot, as 'Crvsade: Zero' provides a familiar mixing of extreme Polish sounds that turn up the anti-religious themes to the max."

Coming off both the success of “Solarflesh” and the tragedy of losing bassist Mortifer, Hate returns with more booming blackened death metal that will please fans of previous albums. If you want loads of dark atmosphere but not a lack of heaviness or harsh vocals, Hate is definitely the band to fill the spot, as “Crvsade: Zero” provides a familiar mixing of extreme Polish sounds that turn up the anti-religious themes to the max.

The crusade kicks off with two intro tracks (for the price of one!): the first with a menacing, movie-score style offering filled with string instruments, the second cranking up the heaviness with distorted guitars and pounding drums. The drums in particular are worth mentioning in most of the tracks, as they have a cavernous, booming quality to them that draws you in and gives the music an epic quality and grander scale without using straight up symphonic sounds.

In terms of sound quality, “Crvsade: Zero” has a slick and clean production with plenty of nuance, which matches the direction of the sound. Melodic guitar work plays across the background of many of the tracks, balancing out the more extreme death metal elements. While easily a crushing and brutal release, there's a dark melody tempering everything.

On the down sides, there are some very noticeable parts (“Doomsday Celebrities” comes to mind) where the tempo feels a little too slow, and an occasional kick in the pace would go a long way. By the time you hit “Dawn Of War” there is also a good deal of repetition in how the death growls are layered over the blast beats, which drags the album down while listening from beginning to end.

Back in my review for previous album “Solarflesh,” I remarked on being bothered by just how much that release sounded like Behemoth's “Evangelion,” and it should be noted that situation again repeats itself here. In parts I can't help but feel like we already got this album (but with a tad more polish) on Behemoth's “The Satanist.”

Granted, that may not be entirely fair, and it's not always clear just how far to compare the two: both come from the same country, both play blackened death metal, both have similar sounding vocalists and a similar number of full-lengths in their discographies. It would be easy to simply say “Behemoth clone,” but Hate has actually technically been around longer than Behemoth, so who is aping whom?

That being said, if you liked “Solarflesh” or love the Polish blackened death metal sound in general, “Crvsade: Zero” is a release that's worth repeated listens.

Highs: Good mix of dark atmosphere with harsh death metal.

Lows: There's a fair amount of repetition, and it's hard not to compare this to Behemoth with how much the two bands sound alike.

Bottom line: Fans of Polish blackened death metal take note, Hate is back!

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)