Ablaze in Hatred, "Deceptive Awareness"
Ablaze in Hatred are about as staunchly lodged into their creative niche as any artist could possibly be. Coming from Finland’s established Doom scene, they are well versed in the style of their forebears, playing a slow, rich, and highly melodic form of Doom that borrows equally from the modern collective works of groups like Shape of Despair and Swallow the Sun as well as those own groups’ dominant inspiration—early-era Katatonia from across gulf in Sweden.
That aforementioned Shape of Despair is likely the closest comparison for Ablaze in Hatred on their debut full length, ‘Deceptive Awareness’. Both share a fairly similar approach, crafting lengthy songs that patiently, almost hypnotically repeat the heavy riffs while letting light melodies layer in over the top to develop each song’s atmosphere , all grounded by very deep and elongated growls. Ablaze in Hatred do differ some from their fellow Finns in accordance with their name, (‘Ablaze’ and ‘Hatred’ both indicating a bit more vigor than ‘Despair’) so one can expect their songs to be a little quicker and more aggressive.
What is most disappointing about ‘Deceptive Awareness’ is a relatively petty complaint; three of the songs (out of a total of seven) utilize the same formula of playing out for about five or six minutes, dropping away into ambience, and then swirling back to full instrumentation again for the repeat of the main riff till the end. This technique works well for perhaps one song an album, but used as frequently as it is here, it ends up being a quick way to alienate a discerning audience.
And, as is often the case with rank-and-file acts, the motivation to listen to this new group over those who originated the movement is a passing fancy. Ablaze in Hatred are no less than adequate, and are worth following up on for fans of the genre, but they still has a long way yet to go before they will vie for the acclaim they seek.Rahn