Country: The Netherlands
Title: Smarten van een ontwijde ziel
Label: Dying Sun Records
Style: Depressive Black Metal
Zelfhaat translates as Self-hatred, and judging by that and the band's logo it's pretty obvious we're dealing here with a DSBM entity, a one-man band started in 2006 actually by another guy, F. (aka Mortifer) joined only a year later and kept the flame burning even after Herr A.I.D.S. left in 2009. This is the project's debut album, 10 tracks in a bit over an hour of playing time; what's weird about it is the lyrics (Dutch language exclusively) were written in 2008 and the music only last year, so maybe the lyrics were conceived as actual poems? Now getting to the actual compositions I have to say I don't like the production, at times everything becomes blurry and chaotic and it's hard to distinguish the instruments, but that's not the major problem in my opinion; the drums are horrible, at least for my taste, they are way too synthetic, too soulless, and at times in profound contrast with the depressive, desperate vocals and background keyboards (and I'm sure the lyrics as well). The guitar work seems ok, but buried way too deep behind those annoying drums, and all what remains to admire on this debut are F.'s excellent vocals for this type of Black Metal, very tortured, painful, versatile and what matters the most, expressive. Definitely not an album that convinced me, but if F. relies on a different production type next time I'm sure he will only improve in product quality.
Reviewed by Adrian