With the future of Nachtmystium currently in question, new project Hate Meditation seems to have become the focal point for frontman Blake Judd. Aided by drummer Sam Shroyer (of black/death outfit Vitandus), synth player Job Bos (Dark Fortress), and session bassist Wrest (Twilight, Leviathan), the group was created to create a “homage to bestial black/death metal bands such as Beherit, Von, Profanatica and Blasphemy.”
If that’s the case, then they’ve strayed a long way, though to be fair, not necessarily for the worse. A far cry from the upfront barbarism of their mentors, the hypnotic violence of the material on Scars leans instead towards black metal’s second wave, with furious Nordic 90s riffing colliding with more contemporary and introspective touches.
The production is notably murky but the sense of the epic recalls earlier American acts such as Judas Iscariot, who took the Scandinavian blueprint and ran with it, and the odd post-black flourish adds some welcome dynamics. Hardly revolutionary, but stirring nonetheless.