Year of release: 2020
Released by: Osmose Productions
Rating: 8,8 / 10
I just started to listen to the new PRECAMBRIAN and rejoice at the peculiar reincarnation of HATE FOREST, which took place within the framework of this project, but Sayenko unexpectedly and suddenly resurrected the real HATE FOREST, after 15 years releasing a new album through Osmose Productions. The event itself is epoch-making, but it turned out that “Hour of the Centaur” is also an excellent album, which not only complements HATE FOREST's discography, but improves it.
I am sure that most of the readers of Bagnik Zine have already listened to this album, because it does not need any recommendations, but I, as a reviewer, simply have to throw in my forty hryvnias. In the review of "Tectonics", I wrote that this release is the most convincing creation from Saenko and the company in recent years, but now I have to admit my mistake. “Hour of the Centaur” is even better. PRECAMBRIAN shares a small flaw of all the previous HATE FOREST music: there is always power / atmosphere / sensations / images, etc., but sometimes not enough of songs. “Hour of the Centaur” does not have this flaw. It combines the signature style of music with tons of great riffs and memorable moments, just like in the early 2000s. Black and white coldness and ruthlessness are diluted by partly melodic fragments, giving the non-stop hammering a little brooding character. However, the peak of the entire album is the song “Anxiously They Sleep in Tumuli”, shamelessly repeating the unforgettable “To Those Who Came Before Us”. This song, like the others, begins with a few minutes of uncompromising blast-beats and roars, but suddenly turns into a stunning warm DRUDKH-like slow-tempo masterpiece. How many times have I mentioned the unbelievable strength of contrast effect - a thousand?
It is interesting to note that Saenko, according to official information, made the album alone. An old colleague Vlad was invited only to program the drums. That's right, the drums on the new album are not real, like in the old days, only now it is not noticeable at all. The sound of “Hour of the Centaur” is close to the sound of other contemporary Saenko's works, and this, surprisingly, did not change anything at all. The smoothness and cleanliness did not in the least take HATE FOREST's anger away. One can only guess about the content of the lyrics for the album; judging by the song titles and the cover, it's something historical (surprise!). There is definitely no Nazism, so the fuckers who made a howl on the Web after the album's announcement once again took their speculations at face value and ate shit on air.
By and large, “Hour of the Centaur” has no weaknesses and it is definitely one of the best albums of 2020. However, Osmose's controversial approach to publishing has become a fly in the ointment. The fact is that the DLP version of the album contains two bonus tracks not included on other physical releases. And for some reason these tracks were released as a digital EP. This, in my opinion, is bullshit, almost like Agonia Records' habit of releasing new albums in digipacks with bonuses, but putting a standard Jewel in the boxed versions. This mistake must be urgently corrected, otherwise some well-wishers will make a bootleg. However, apparently, the first press of “Hour of the Centaur” is already sold out, so there is a chance to see bonuses on the new reissue.