Review by Felix on June 6, 2023.
Once a wise guy told me that he is not fan of a specific band, but of certain albums. This simple sentence caused me some serious mental pain, because on the one hand, I was convinced that metal fans have to stay loyal to their favorites. On the other hand, I was thinking of "Reign In Blood" and "Diabolus In Musica' or "Defenders Of The Faith' and "Turbo". Apostate, to use the English translation of the album title, made me think of this statement again, because its beginning is not very promising, although the debut of Hate Manifesto had a very thrilling touch.
Apostate does not show a new direction. Hate Manifesto did not readjust their approach and so we get the elements we already know from For Those Who Glorified Death. This means we are confronted with an overdose of musical brutality, death metal growls, low-tuned guitars and a horrifying, very dense overall sound. (The prodction is much heavier than that of the debut.) Additionally, we get some solos, but honestly speaking, they go down the drain. From my point of view, it does not make much sense to fire some dissonant guitar tones into the imaginary crowd if they have absolutely no connection to the main parts of the track. 'Purging The Seeds Of Pestilence', naturally a storm of the most violent type, shows the real strength of the Greek duo. Sharp, menacing riffing in the foreground, massacre-like noise in the background and the king of hell pukes out his lyrics. This song is not overshadowed by the high quality of the equally brute 'Poison Infliction', the first track that really gets me by the collar. I breathe a sigh of relief; Apostate is not Hate Manifesto’s “Force Of Habit”, although both intro and first regular track do not achieve the highest laurels.
Occasionally, one would like to wish Hate Manifesto to close their valves even for a short time. But as it is, their oversized hatred pours incessantly on the listener. This is okay, but two problems occur. Firstly, some parts remain flat and mechanized. They do not trigger a lot of emotions. Secondly, the band is at risk to get lost in its own blind rage. To experience the mega-heavy yet controlled beginning of 'Chains Of The Oppressor Pt II' is almost a recovery measure, but it goes without saying that Hate Manifesto quickly switch into hyper-speed sections again.
The inferno ends after 36 minutes and either I'm deaf now or there just hasn't been a sound in my flat since the record ended. It can happen that there are two weeks of absolute silence, right? However, sometimes Hate Manifesto sound like Napalm Death minus pig squeals, sometimes they appear like the most representative band for the Iron Bonehead mail order which is specialized on black/death metal butcheries. Both alternatives are not that bad and therefore Apostate is definitely not the band’s “Calm Before The Storm”. Admittedly, it also cannot be seen as Hate Manifesto’s “At War With Satan” – but if we understand it as their “Temples Of Ice”, we do the album justice even though its cover aesthetics, reminiscent of the 1930s, are irritating.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10894