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Bloodline - "Hate Procession" (CD)

Bloodline - "Hate Procession" CD cover image

"Hate Procession" track listing:

1. Intro: Berzloj (1:35)
2. The Great Becoming (13:44)
3. Order of the parasite (11:08)
4. The Stampede (2:29)
5. Jerusalem Addio (8:45)
6. Day of The Vulture (7:55)
7. Total Peace (2:55)
8. Après moi, le dèluge (4:42)

Reviewed by on October 28, 2009

"The problem is that, as an endless procession of unrelenting hate, the album gets repetitive quickly. Bloodline succeeds in getting their message across, but that message isn’t exactly musically appealing."

At various points in their history Bloodline has featured members of bands such as Shining, Aborym, Carpathian Forest, and Naglfar. The mash up of members from various old school European black metal acts ought to give Bloodline’s potential audience a good idea of what sort of music they have to offer. The base of “Hate Procession” is malevolent and cold black metal, but it builds from there with heavy use of programming and voice samples. The album should be commended for attempting a relatively new take on an old theme, but the end result is less than pleasing for metal fans who want high end production or any sort of real innovation.

Bloodline immediately establishes the theme they are going for in their rather stunning album insert, which is filled with images of the dead and the perpetrators of murder and hate crimes. The booklet ends with scenes of armed men in black hoods and a picture of the world trade towers exploding. Clearly Bloodline has decided to pass up the tales of supernatural horror and the occult to take a real world approach. After all, who needs Satan when there are actual atrocities of war to use as fuel for source material? The real world has enough hate and despair to fill an extreme metal album without resorting to make believe evils. “Hate Procession” is a testament to that idea, and it shoves a dirty dose of reality in the audience’s face. While a black metal album devoid of any posturing or screams about demons from hell is a refreshing take, the disc sadly doesn’t have much else to offer.

Nearly every track has multiple voice samples or movie clips layered in with the music to bolster their themes of serial killers and genocide. Each sample is accompanied by a symphonic score and electronic sounds to punctuate the various speeches and help them have a bigger impact on the listener. The first time Hitler makes an appearance the effect is unnerving and works exactly as intended. Likewise the muted screams and keyboards in the background of the second track “The Great Becoming” is absolutely spot on. By the time the fourth track shows up it becomes apparent that Bloodline only had one good idea and decided to keep running with it indefinitely. Each song follows the same formula of a mid-paced black metal segment with distorted guitars and heavy drumming followed by an extended section of shocking samples and symphonic elements.

The heavier elements of the music do have an ace up their sleeve in the form of vocalist Wrathyr. His painful and tortured screams are easily some of the most vile and hate filled growls to be found in metal. The disgust, contempt, and abject desolation in his voice is clearly audible. When coupled with the fuzzy production, the vocals and lyrical themes do give the album a shot at being well received by hardcore fans of lo-fi black metal.

The album’s name is an apt description of the music. The problem is that, as an endless procession of unrelenting hate, it gets repetitive quickly. Bloodline succeeds in getting their message across, but that message isn’t exactly musically appealing. They haven’t fully mastered that art of keeping their music compelling while dragging their audience through the dreary muck of human kind’s utter depravity. “Hate Procession” is one of the few albums that is actually less engaging because of its use of non-traditional elements, which is a serious shame.

Highs: A few compelling symphonic moments, some of the samples are truly shocking and disturbing.

Lows: The album suffers from extreme repitition, fuzzy production, and a general lack of innovation.

Bottom line: A repetitive and fuzzy black metal album with a few interesting symphonic segments and a serious overuse of samples.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 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)