Released: 2010, Cruz Del Sur
Italy’s Handful of Hate has been kicking around the black metal scene for quite awhile now (since 1993!), but this is the first I’ve come across them. Known for their carnal, borderline misogynistic take on black metal, the band have four previous albums to their credit, all of which have received mostly positive critical praise. 2009 saw the release of their newest album, YOU WILL BLEED so let’s see what the band has offered to the metal gods.
As I said, Handful of Hate is known for their blistering black metal assault and anti-Christian, sexual lyrics (think Belphegor) and that is exactly what you get with YOU WILL BLEED. The band members are certainly competent enough musicians, and the clear production lets you hear exactly what’s going on, but that’s really about it. It’s not all blasting and the band do insert some slower, grinding parts to liven things up (“The March of Hate” is particularly good with this), but this is all Swedish black metal 101; which is to say that there is nothing distinctive or even exciting about the music. If you’ve heard the Dark Funeral and Marduk catalogues, you’ve heard everything that Handful of Hate has to offer. Their slavish devotion to the cause is admirable, but you would think that after 17 years they would have grown a bit by now.
With Handful of Hate, what you see is what you get. Whether you need, or can even tolerate, another dose of Swedish-styled black metal is entirely up to you but if so, give YOU WILL BLEED a listen.