Hate Forest - _Battlefields_
(Supernal Music, 2004)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
Following up last year's impressive _Purity_ with _Battlefields_, Ukrainians Hate Forest have tweaked their approach somewhat: the sound is less trebly, the fast sections are less frequent, and the droning feel of its predecessor has become more prevalent. Furthermore, an increase in militaristic and ethnic elements has also occurred. The latter is caused mostly by the Ukrainian folk singing between tracks -- which I began to skip right after the first listen. As a result of the above, _Battlefields_ is considerably less intense than _Purity_, opting instead for a more ponderous approach. The black metal guitar sound is still complemented mostly by death vocals; however, the main reason why it is hard to classify _Battlefields_ as black metal is that the compositions tend to stay away of what one might expect from said genre. There is a lot of quietly memorable material imbued in _Battlefields_, and its doomy, sombre nature works in its favour -- much like it did for _Purity_ in spite of the different approach. The militaristic cadence of some of the percussion and riffing becomes somewhat excessive at times, however, and overall I tend to find _Purity_ a slightly better proposition. Also, if you take away the folk chanting, all you have left is three ten minute tracks, which may be a deterrent to some. There is still plenty of merit in _Battlefields_ though, and its unrelentingly dark soundscapes are greatly helped by some excellent riffs, their bleakness complemented by the death vocals (which is especially true of the superb final track). In fact, overall _Battlefields_ proves to be a worthy follow-up to _Purity_ for the most part; shame about the excessive militaristic leanings.

Contact: http://www.supernalmusic.com

(article published 19/6/2004)

9/6/2005 Q Kalis 9 Hate Forest - Sorrow
10/30/2003 M Noll 8 Hate Forest - Purity
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