Hate Forest - Innermost (2022)


After being broken up for 15 years or so, Hate Forest returned with a punishing release in 2020, and before we even knew it, they dropped “Innermost” this past December. Featuring six tracks and around 35 minutes of punishing Black Metal, this release keeps the band’s mythos alive and well by unleashing their signature demoralizing style. If you are a fan of the band, and/or bleak and ravaging BM, you can’t miss out on this release.

The release quickly goes for the throat with “Those Who Howl Inside the Snowstorm”, a blistering piece of traditional Black Metal in the vein of Immortal, with piercing tremolo picking and crushing drumming. The album’s savagery level is quickly showcased as pieces like “By Full Moon's Light Alone the Steppe Throne Can Be Seen” and “Ice-Cold Bloodless Veins” provide no respite except for the occasional atmospheric interludes. Hate Forest has always been characterized for their relentless brutality and this is front and center on this release.

For those looking for headbanging ear candy, “Temple of the Great Eternal Night” is one of those tracks that unleashes fury from start to finish with some excellent melodic elements infused. Oozing misery and quite demoralizing, “Solitude In Starry December” is our favorite track that perfectly captures the vibe of December in frosty Eastern European countries. With no fluff or any extra ‘pretty’ elements, the band’s sound is as desolate and soul crushing as they come.

While there isn’t any novelty or ‘evolution’, we don’t really mind that as the band’s sound has always been pummeling and to the point. There is no need to change a musical core that works and we love this release, just for that. Others might hate on this, but we just want more aural punishment from the band, and “Innermost” delivers just that. Acquire with confidence as this release is a worthy addition to your Hate Forest (and similar bands) collection.

Bands: Hate Forest Album: Innermost

Label: Osmose Productions

Release: December 21st, 2022

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Genre: Black Metal

Country: Ukraine

Rating: 95/100

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