I must confess to being naturally suspicious of releases of this nature as so often they can be excuses for basically doing nothing for minutes on end and I just get bored. However, when done right such as with the latest by Wolves in the Throne Room it can be very good indeed.
Haate immediately impress by actually having changes and progression in the tracks. There are three long songs here, (34 minutes in total), and even a few minutes into the first song there’s a fair bit going on.
Haate specialises in dark atmospheres and gloomy introspection. It’s like someone has really paid attention to all of those musical proto-Classical interludes/intros on 90’s Black Metal albums and decided to create a full album out of it all. This is merely an observation, however, not a criticism, as the resulting work is surprisingly, (to me), good.
There’s a fair bit of substance here, and we even get some low-in-the-mix Black Metal vocals and blastbeats. This is most unexpected but most welcome.
In addition to the synths and keyboards there are other, quasi-industrial sounds and noises accompanying proceedings and these add a level of darkness to the textured music. It sometimes gives the impression of inorganic breathing, which is a vaguely unsettling sound and really enhances the songs.
I’m impressed with this. Cynically I didn’t think it would be very enjoyable and I’m very pleased that I’m wrong. And do you know what? The more I listen to it the more I like it. It’s shockingly good.
For Black Metal fans who don’t always need the Metal part.