|Label:||Immortal Frost Productions|
Ukraine has recently been struck by an internal conflict, also fueled by several foreign countries. However, the former Soviet republic is also the place where Hellhate came to be, a black metal act that debuted last year with the EP "Retsonretap", released via the Belgian label Immortal Frost Productions.
This is about fifteen minutes of straight-up sound and overwhelming unfiltered violence, able to convey its power thanks to a quite clear production as well, preferring a somewhat more "real" sound for the drums (played by Bloodsucker) to something synthetic. Ugrum's screamed vocals come up as raw, grinding, and fierce, contributing to increase the overall roughness of this work; while the fast-paced guitars bring in a gust of Northern frost.
All of the five songs are quite short and Hellhate prefer hurling their weapons without wasting any time. Nevertheless, the band still adds some breaks and tempo changes between moderately slower tracks ("Hellhate") and relentless ones ("Your Pain Is My Bread"); there is even some room for some ephemeral elements in the first part of "Incense Smells Not Better Than Crap".
As for the lyrics, satanic and "ignorant" iconography is quite evident, as shown by the demons tormenting Christ and taking him off the cross on the cover. The album title itself, if read backwards, is "Pater Noster", and of course works as an inversion of the actual one. The beginning of the title-track features a gunshot to someone who is praying God.
The extreme brevity of this EP helped cover up its one real limit: the lack of actual highlights that stand out from the rest. Still, we are talking about a (mini) debut, so it was to be expected, especially considering that I haven't had the chance to listen to the members' previous efforts in other projects.
In short, "Retsonretap" is like a quick alcohol shot that warms you up for a more abundant next round.