Reviewed: July, 2018
Released: 2018, Solitude Productions
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Sadness is a universal language.
Find yourself in any corner of the globe, surrounded by words you may not understand and you will recognize sadness when you see it, even more so when you hear it. Such is the case with Self-Hatred and their sophomore full length, HLUBINY. Hailing from the Czech Republic and performing in their native language, the band has constructed an opus of melancholy death fringed doom metal, drenched in almost kaiju sized waves of sadness.
With crawling, melodic passages reminiscent of Daylight Dies, the monolithic heaviness of Mournful Congregation and smothered in heaps of funerary organ passages, Self-Hatred assembles genre familiarities into a record that sounds both fresh and engaging. Translated to English as “depths”, HLUBINY appropriately presents eight individual doom classics that reach deep into the pits of your empty soul and methodically wrench any remaining hope out of your being. With a delicate balance between more acerbic tracks like “Střepy“ or the black metal leaning “Vzplanuti” paired against the more casually paced, gothic rattles of “Odraz” and “Epitaf”, HLUBINY conveys its message of musical despair with surprising diversity. That message resonates even more profoundly on the sparse, piano heavy title track, with each forceful crash of the ivories pounding with the intensity of a hammer on a coffin nail.
Self-Hatred is the perfect moniker for a band that can create such a bleak listening experience like HLUBINY, and whom can also compel the listener to to revisit the album again and again. Nevermind that you may not understand the lyrics (unless you dabble in Czech, that is); consider the vocals to be a sixth instrument with its own vocabulary and it becomes a welcomed additional layer to an already majestic and mysterious musical experience. If you like your metal accompanied by a healthy dose of introspection and self loathing, do yourself a favor and listen to HLUBINY.