Polish death metal has always been somewhat akin to the different coloured ninja characters in the Mortal Kombat video game series; all of them slightly different prospects in a vaguely different palettes. Vader would be the fiery Scorpion, Behemoth would be cold and callous Sub-Zero, Decapitated the fun Reptile and then Hate…. They would be that purple one who does stuff with water, what’s his name… Rain? That’s a bit of a dull and unimaginative name isn’t it?
In their own right Hate are a perfectly good death metal band and everything you would expect. “Crusade: Zero” picks up exactly where the previous album “Solarflesh” left off and it’s equally punishing. Curiously opening with two utterly redundant intros the album finally gets underway with the storming “Death Liberator”. Every song, whilst not particularly unique, is tight and brutal, complete with atmospheric orchestration and vacuum cleaner vocals.
But this album is a little bit like going to a bar and asking for a Coke, but they only have Pepsi. The Behemoth and Vader comparisons are undeniable and totally unapologetic, the vocals and guitar sound in particular and pretty much identical to that of Hate’s more famous cousins. This isn’t exactly a problem, for example I’ve never heard anyone turn down a Pepsi because they only like Coke, but it does raise of a lot of questions over Hate’s relevance.
So there you have it pretty much, “Crusade: Zero” is a serviceable Polish death metal album and if you’re looking for something like that to tide you over before the next big release then you could certainly do far worse. After all, every now and again someone must pick to play as Rain, you know, just for a change…