Hate Manifesto is a blackened death band based in Greece that, despite its longstanding history, has only a few releases under its belt. Formed around two decades ago under a different name, the band currently only consists of one or two individuals who are working together to make a bold impression on their side of the black and death metal scene. Which brings us to today's album...
Released in late June of 2019 through Sweden's Helter Skelter Productions, the aptly titled third release by Hate Manifesto serves as the band's first EP (following their debut full-length in 2017) named Herald of Triumph. This blackened and sometimes brutal composition consists of just four tracks amounting to around 17 minutes of content. However, what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. The album is now available both digitally as well as physically on CD & vinyl formats.
The EP starts off simply enough on a raging black metal note (well, more like a series of power chords played over some hectic drumming) that soon turns to traditional/oldschool tremolo picking. When the vocals come in, I noticed that they were really deep, guttural and somewhat reminiscient of like a 90s brutal death style, which is somewhat different for this genre. The song stays on the aforementioned tremolo riffing for the most part before transitioning into a kind of melodic riff near the outro and suddenly fading out.
The second track, while shorter, offered a bit more in the way of variety and sound changes I thought. It begins with some thrashy death metal riffing that later goes into tremolos, blast beats and eventually an ambient chord striking progression and finally a tremolo chorus at the end. Track three ('Perpetual Glorification of the Eternal Symbols') was my fave due to its lightning pace, long and fleshed out structure being an over five minute song, and for some of its subtle bass lines in the middle. THe fourth song is more like the opening 'Herald of Triumph' with a consistent tremolo but still listenable nonetheless.
Generally, this EP shows good promise on both black and death metal sides. Despite this, it feels kind of lacking in the technical or production-wise aspects (though that does give more credit to its "kvlt"-like aspects). The atmosphere and melodies are solid when they're on full display, but part of me wishes for the occasional guitar solo or something. The middle section of the EP is rather solid with the second and third songs being more eclectic and energetic to boot, though the first song isn't too memorable and the outro track is more of the same, though not too shabby, either. Either way, it's subtle, it has its shortcomings, but Herald of Triumph still has a lot of emotion and blackened death prowess to it.
There are some things that stick out about this EP. In particular, the melodies are on point and some of the structural transitions (especially in the second and third tracks) are rather interesting, giving way to some eclectic creativity at work. However, there are also some downsides to it, length aside. The production quality is alright and there could've been a bit more to work with vocally. I haven't listened to the full-length so I can't speak by comparison, but the four songs on here are overall a mixed bag of dark-hearted atmosphere and blackened death promise with noticeable shortcomings. It's not the greatest release, but for how small the band itself is and the ambition behind it, Herald of Triumph is a pretty decent addition to the scene.
Fave Tracks: 'Scourge of the Iron Beast', 'Perpetual Glorification of the Eternal Symbols'
For Fans Of: Marduk, Rotting Christ, some oldschool blackened death
**This release is available now here!**
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-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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