Labelling Harkonin’s fourth release Detest as mere black metal doesn’t really do justice. Instead, a more fitting term would be something like technical death / black metal in the vein of The Legion: continously wandering music in different tempos with little surprises, vocals ranging from high-pitched screams to low growls, and an always prevalent malicious atmosphere, though Harkonin does implement more melody to their music, ”Chaos Anthem” being a good example among others.
In general, Detest does its job successfully: it grabs your attention well enough and the production is pretty top-notch. But when I start to search for features that would make Detest above any other album in this field, and when I realize the album runs for over an hour, I am not so convinced anymore.
For sure, Harkonin comprises professional musicians, everything is executed with tight precision, sounding evil and strong, but the same time I would have loved to hear something more daring, something that would’ve made Detest sound slightly different from all the rest. After all, we’re not dealing with any superb riffs and melodies here, everything is compositionally on the average line, perhaps slightly above the usual standard of modern metal. A song like ”Insurrection” is a real treat to ears and makes me wish the rest of the album was made with same energy.
Remembering the long running time and the challening technical elements, Detest requires many listens, and perhaps if I had listened to this a few times more before reviewing (I think I’m on my third or fourth run right now), my rating would have gone slightly up, so keep that in mind when viewing my score. Recommendable for fans of death/black mixtures with modern technicality therein.