HATE FOREST — Dead But Dreaming (review)

HATE FOREST — Dead But Dreaming album cover Boxset / Compilation · 2009 · Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
Vehemency
”Dead But Dreaming”, possibly the last release ever under the name Hate Forest, seems a little unnecessary compilation of material spanning from previously unreleased studio songs to some live tracks. The CD kicks off with an Arkona cover of which I haven’t heard the original one, but I assume this is a bit heavier, and in some way (especially the synths and real drums) reminds me of Astrofaes, actually, just with the usual low-grunting Hate Forest vocals. Next comes the apocalyptic ”Grief of the Universe” which has already been heard on the split with Legion of Doom. Apparently ”Dead But Dreaming” was supposed to be released earlier, since the booklet says ”from the forthcoming split” in regard to this song. All in all, it’s a good tune, the first three minutes being instrumental, and once again involving real drums, but the song has already been heard before. ”LCF”, the third track, is one of the highlights here, being a really muddy doomish black metal piece, crafted, weirdly enough, in 1995 and 2002 and now finally seeing the light of the day. In all honesty, the song doesn’t really sound like Hate Forest at all!

The four live tracks date back to 2001. Usually, putting live tracks on a record seems an easy way to make it longer, but I guess this is justified in this case as Hate Forest was certainly not the most active tour band... The sound is really raw on these so don’t expect any professional sound board recordings. I dig the airy atmosphere this low-quality production provides, and also that these live songs include such good tracks as ”In Cold Empty Darkess”, ”To Those Who Came Before Us” and ”Desert of Ice”. The last live song, ”Cenotaph”, is a Bolt Thrower cover of which, once again, I haven’t heard the original so I can not compare. After this last piece, ”Dead But Dreaming” ends and leaves the listener a little unsatisfied, but undoubtedly this belongs to the shelves of all Hate Forest fans. For completionists, indeed, this is a worthy compilation since this is said to compile the very last unreleased Hate Forest tracks. It’s an end to a great band, but I would leave this release only for the true fans.
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