Hate - Crusade Zero 01Sphere we have it, not only do we have another worthy addition to A Treatise in Ten Arguments on the Ubiquitous Sphere and its Mystical Origin as a Proof for the Existence of a Malevolent God written by Kronos late last year, but in addition, Polish band Hate are adding to their already dense blackened death catalogue. Crusade: Zero makes its presence known two years after the release of Solarflesh, and while I’m excited Hate are making a speedy return, I’ve felt some apprehension that they’ll suffer the same criticisms they’ve been labelled with in the past: 1) Hate have a recipe and they’re going to use it; and 2) it’s quite a challenge to ignore the in-your-face Behemoth influence. Have Hate refined and personalised their sound or will Crusade: Zero further cement these death merchents as a second-tier band offering nothing more than latter era Behemoth worship?

Crusade: Zero makes a surprising but strong start. “Vox Dei (A Call From Beyond)” is a short dramatic opening awash with heroic might and atmosphere that reminds me of the industrial musical mechanic of P.H.O.B.O.S. Re-iterating the circular theme that runs through Crusade: ZeroHate make a point to return to this influence briefly towards the back end of the album (“The Omnipresence” and “Black Aura Debris”). Following on from “Vox Dei (A Call From Beyond)” Hate weave in “Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Wrath,” compounding the surprise with essentially a double intro, it’s an instrumental with hints to the ambience of Blut Aus Nord, sharp-edged writhing guitarwork, melodic and near plaintive as the title suggests.

After all the introductions have been made, hands shaken and pleasentaries exchanged, we move onto the meat and potatos portion of this platter. “Death Liberator” and “Leviathan” are both huge, mid-paced tracks that quickly re-introduce you to the throaty Nergal-like rasp of Adam the First Sinner. There’s just no mistaking the Behemoth backbone that holds up “Death Liberator,” mixed in with some of the Reverence deformity Hate have turned to in the past, but it’s “Leviathan” where things get beastly and Hate deliver what sounds liked their biggest Behemoth hit yet.

Hate - Crusade Zero 02“Doomsday Celebrities,” “Hate is the Law” and “Valley of Darkness” follow, forcing their way into your memory with melody, whirlwind riffs and brutish cannoning drumwork, no track being any better or worse than its predecessor, offering more of the same influences. And finally the back-end of the album, “Crusade Zero” and “Rise Omega the Consequence!” offers a moment or two of diversity where “Crusade Zero” kicks off sounding more like a Fleshgod Apocalypse track than Behemoth, but short-lived it is; and “Rise Omega the Consequence!” has a moment of twangy acoustic pickings as things draw to a sobering close.

While Crusade: Zero and its 12 melodies (51 minutes) proves a good offering by a strong second-tier melodic blackened death band, it’s not without some irksome flaws. Presenting “Vox Dei,” “Lord, Make Me…” as individual tracks does nothing to stem the feeling that Crusade: Zero suffers from a slow, indulgent and drawn out start. While I enjoyed each of the tracks, they add a minute or more of superfluous fluff to an already lengthy album. This only exacerbates the feeling that lengthier tracks run on far too long, well overstaying their welcome. Additionally, as you hit the back-end of “Valley of Darkness,” listener fatigue sets in and though the album isn’t actually brickwalled it’s lagely the instrumental tracks that have better dynamics pulling up the overall range reading; and so much of Crusade: Zero comes across as overly loud, somewhat one-dimensional and lacking in dynamics.

In light of AMG‘s recent dissertation (On Editing and the Death of the LP), here we have another example of a band that’s forgotten “To write is human. To edit is divine.” If you can look past these flaws and you’re looking for some Behemoth-worship, Crusade: Zero proves a challenging but worthwhile beast.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Napalm Records
Websites: HateOfficial | Facebook.com/HateOfficial
Release Dates: EU: 2015.02.02 | NA: 02.10.2015

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  • HippieOfDeath

    I can’t fucking believe NergalCore is still a thing

    • Lol damn I wish I’d come up with that!

    • Kryopsis

      Brilliant! All I had was ‘mothcore…

  • Wilhelm

    I was ok with it until he started singing. He sounds exactly like Nergal; in fact this whole song sounds exactly like Behemoth it’s just not funny, in sound, delivery, the inflection of his vocals, everything. Nothing new, they should be ashamed of being such a blatant ripoff.

    • Here’s Johnny

      You should be ashamed for talking such crap.

    • Dude, I hear Vader, no ?

  • Alexandre Barata

    3/5 for a covers’ band is a bit high. It’s well executed, but if you didn’t know you could actually think that this release was from Behemoth, with bad guitar solos :P I prefer the original.

    • Here’s Johnny

      Shut the hell up. Behemoth don’t really have great solos either, away and listen to Limp Bizkit or something more on your level.

      • Alexandre Barata

        So if I don’t care about new Hate album I must be a Limp Bizkit fan. Seems legit, fanboy.

        • Here’s Johnny

          No, i’m just saying if you can’t tell the difference maybe you should listen to something a bit easier. I can tell the difference between Hate and Behemoth straight away. They sound different and Behemoth are not exactly known for solos either.

  • basenjibrian

    damn he looks a lot like Nergal. :)

  • hubcapiv

    ” a good offering by a strong second-tier melodic blackened death band”
    ===
    Now that’s a quality back-handed complement there.

    • Jean-Luc Ricard

      Heh, I wonder how much it stings to be referred to as a “second-tier” band…

  • sui

    Unlike many commenters here, I don’t think Hate is a Behemoth copycat. There are some similarities especially in light of vocal, use of blastbeat, yes. But the rest (the riffs, use of melodies) are noticeably distinct. It actually won’t require much time to notice the difference–their use of groove and subtleties imo. Behemoth seems more…intentionally dramatic in their latest album…as is Nergal’s businessman-ship. While Hate seems to be quite under-loved here (and other possibly other sites, I remembered Madam X’s not-so-rave review of Solarflesh, which I still revisit to date), at least this one gets slightly higher score. So there’s the sliver lining.

    • I maintained hope for some time that Solarflesh would grow on me but it hasn’t. I can see mhyself returning to Crusade: Zero before its predecessor.

      • sui

        Good to know. Just get my hands on this one. Hopefully it will be an improvement as you suggested, even though I happen to enjoy Solarflesh.

      • Here’s Johnny

        Which is strange because Solarflesh was better. The bassist died in the making of this album, surely must have affected the writing.

    • I’m with you there, I have to really stretch my imagination to see that these guys are trying to sound like Behemoth. This track anyways is a lot more melodic than anything I’ve heard out of Behemoth.

  • Bryan94

    For all those people bitching about that it sounds exactly like Behemoth,

    keep in mind that these guys played that polish styled Blackend-DM BEFORE Behemoth even started.

    I also noticed that mp3 leak that is been going around is loud as hell… just recieved my limited edition CD today, ripped it into FLAC and it sounds a little more dynamic and overall better than that mp3 leak.

    I love the production overall though, pretty nice. The album as whole is awsome too, those instrumental parts really give you time to reflect everything.

    • Our copy came directly from the label, so it’s up to them what version of the mix we get.

      • Bryan94

        Ah, Ok good to know. Just noticed it (Still pretty loud though, but not in a bad way.)

    • Wilhelm

      It looks like both bands share a similar timeline, although Behemoth was playing nordic style Black Metal in the beginning. Regardless, Behemoth is the more popular of the two and Hate is plagiarizing the shit out of their sound, vocals, etc..At least in the video clip I heard.

      • Bryan94

        Plagiarizing… nah… i still think both bands make “Their” own uniqe version of Blackened Death Metal. Behemoth plays the more atmosperic styled “Black Metal”, Hate I think is clearly more Death Metal influenced.

      • bloodvictor

        Well, no, you can’t just say “regardless.” The timeline is vital when you’re saying they’re plagiarising it, because as Bryan pointed out, that’s only possible if Behemoth were doing this first, but looking at the timeline it’s clear that that’s not possible.

        • Wilhelm

          When I said Plagiarizing, I wasn’t talking about their entire career, from this new Hate video, I’m saying that it sounds exactly like NEW Behemoth. if you like it though, that’s cool.

          • bloodvictor

            It doesn’t sound like new Behemoth though, this is like Demigod-era Behemoth if anything

          • Wilhelm

            True, the last Behemoth album was a bit different.

          • Here’s Johnny

            So Hate and Behemoth are a ‘bit different’? Make your bloody mind up!

          • Wilhelm

            I said the new Behemoth album was a bit more adventurous and different, which is why I liked it more. Okay, so I’ll re-word my statement, Hate is ripping off what Behemoth did on their last four albums before the Satanist. If you can hear the differences, then that’s cool but if this were mistakenly released under the Behemoth moniker, nobody would be the wiser – they did a good job a capturing the aesthetics of Behemoth’s sound, but no so much for originality. that’s just my opinion.

      • sui

        if it’s just based on the video clip, it might be recommended to hear couple more songs or even an album before making judgements. If you still think it is blatant ripoff and a turned-off for you, then I just zip up. But it seems more often than not, one’s preconception gets in the way. Just a likely assumption…

        • Wilhelm

          To amuse you, I heard a couple of other songs and it sounds exactly like Behemoth. If you like it, that’s cool (I’ve liked the occasional ripoff band) but they have everything copied verbatim, down to the exact vocals and singing style.

          • sui

            Sure mate. Nothing meant to be forced here.

  • Doomdeathrosh

    Well, Behemoth worship or not….its actually quite good!

    • Doomdeathrosh

      also I see “Valley of Darkness”……not “Valley ov Darkness”! Just saying…

      • ActualBastard

        See? Different!

    • Here’s Johnny

      Yup they worship a band that came after them, makes sense.

  • bloodvictor

    I’m honestly surprised how boring this album is. I really, really enjoyed Solarflesh, and there are some great songs on all their previous albums as well.

  • Martin Knap

    I’m still thinking about where thic “blackened” sound in death metal comes from. I don’t know if this is a good explanation, but might it be because of the geography – Poland was strongly influenced by Skandianvian black metal, but some bands just wanted to stick to DM, so they incorporated more BM sounding tremolo riffs or something like that (…)? Or is there some paradigmatically blackened DM sounding band form elsewhere out there that I missed?

  • Here’s Johnny

    Seems you liked this album better than the last one Madam X. Which is weird because i thought Solarflesh was better than this, this album is still pretty good though.

    It is getting a bit tired seeing Behemoth mentioned straightaway with this band though, its something internet trolls say on every one of Hate’s videos on youtube.

    Of course they both have some similarities but i can always tell both bands straightaway, they are different. Hate has more ambient/industrial sounds and groove orientated riffs. They never get to Behemoth type velocity. People saying they are copying Behemoth are not only ignorant(they started before Behemoth) but need their bloody ears unclogged. To me their riffs are more Vader-ish than anything, with maybe a bit of Zyklon thrown in.

  • Vocals sound like Vader to me. Where’s the Behemoth here ? I’m not a great fan of either band, but there’s a reasonably large set of bands equidistant to Behemoth.