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Total Hate - Throne Behind a Black Veil

Total Hate
Throne Behind a Black Veil
by Damian Smith at 08 August 2019, 6:47 AM

In TOTAL HATE, we have a band that adheres to a no-nonsense approach to Black Metal. There’s nothing particularly flashy about any of the tracks on offer here; no clean singing, no washy, Shoegaze influence. Just straight up, 90’s Black Metal worship, done to haunting, wintry perfection. So, if you prefer your Black Metal with a bit more bells and whistles, you might consider looking elsewhere. But, if you’re looking for an album with pitch-black atmosphere, that hearkens back to the genre’s earliest influencers, then I might just have a recommendation for your next stroll in the woods.

Conceived in Germany, in the year 2000, TOTAL HATE have had nearly two decades to refine their vision of old-school, Black Metal. On this, their fourth, full-length album, titled “Throne Behind A Black Veil,” the band have seemingly taken the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. It’s a bleak, and completely uncomplicated record, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!

The album’s opening track, “Psychopath,” is a mid-tempo number that boasts some wonderfully eerie, tremolo picked guitar melodies, and well establishes the dark atmosphere that is prevalent through the album’s run-time. While songs like “Thou Shalt Kill (Killing Spree Unleashed),” “Death Raid Apocalypse,” and “Lunatic Beast” have a decidedly faster, and more classic, almost Punk influence about them. I tend to prefer my Black Metal on the more dreary, and moody side. And, songs like “Raven Wings & Witchcraft Spells,” “His Throne Behind A Black Veil,” and my personal favorite, the seven minute closer, “Venomed Seed,” certainly provide this album with enough dynamic variation.

From a production stand point, “Throne Behind A Black Veil” is everything it needs to be. It’s not overly polished, the use of reverb is tasteful, and the mix is balanced enough to give everything space to be heard. The drums sound raw, and natural, and all of the instruments are played tightly to them. For the most part, the bass lines just follow along with the guitar. But, at times the two work together to create some interesting, harmonic textures, such as in “Venomed Seed”. Vocally, there’s nothing too out of the ordinary to be heard. It’s the sort of throaty, snarl that you’d expect from the genre. But, there’s just enough energy, and anguish in the performance to keep them interesting, and engaging.

To be honest, there’s not much on this release that you couldn’t find in other Black Metal records of the same ilk. The band clearly aren’t afraid to wear their influences on their sleeve. But, it is very well executed, and well written, and for that reason, I think it stands a chance of sticking out in the sea of bands that are all trying to get close to that early, Black Metal sound. TOTAL HATE know exactly what they’re doing, and have the experience to prove it.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Psychopath
2. Decline of Human Life – Part II
3. Thou Shalt Kill (Killing Spree Unleashed)
4. Ravens Wings & Witchcraft Spells
5. His Throne Behind a Black Veil
6. Death Raid Apocalypse
7. Lunatic Beast
8. Venomed Seed

Adrastos – Vocals
Aer – Guitar
Erebos – Guitar
Lykos – Bass
Serrator – Drums

Record Label: Eisenwald


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