Hate Forest

The first time I heard The Ukraine’s Hate Forest was back in the early 2000s. I had found a Russian MP3 site that had Arkona, Nokturnal Mortum, Lucifugum, Astrofaes, and hundreds of other European bands I had never heard of; Hate Forest is one of those bands that I latched onto because with a name like Hate Forest, they must be good, right? The war being waged by Russia hasn’t softened Ukraine, band members are taking up arms to defend their country and it seems that every album sold goes to help the war effort in some way.

Innermost finds the band in the middle of this conflict and therefore the anger and despair of war are reflected in these six tracks. “Those Who Howl Inside the Snowstorm” strikes with the power of a blizzard, drums blasting and ice-cold guitars. At the 1.49 mark, there’s a raging mid-song march before driving towards the song’s end; a short blast before “By Full Moon’s Light Alone the Steppe Throne Can Be Seen” which is the first of the over three-minute mark tracks, a steady ride that’s beautifully crafted and powerful.

This is what I love about European Black Metal (not to shun American Black Metal), the history creates the atmosphere, and years of war and suffering have ingrained all that into the music.

“Temple of the Great Eternal Night” is a perfect example of this, as well as the album closer “Solitude in Starry December” both having a controlled rage that gives way to lush interludes, allowing the songs to breathe and express themselves.

Innermost came out late in 2023, so if you haven’t picked it up, I urge you to do so; not only will you be helping Ukraine, but you’ll be getting a solid Black Metal album to boot. I realize that at the beginning I mentioned a list of similar bands, each being from Ukraine and Russia and while they all have different styles, that European style burns in Hate Forest as well. I didn’t mention Drudhk, and I should before I go, because if you like them, you’ll love Hate Forest.

One last thing, I don’t give a fuck about politics which is why I am only mentioning it: music before ideology. Slava Ukraine!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeremy Beck
February 17th, 2023


  1. Commented by: Nick K

    Great review Jeremy. I enjoyed this album as well.

  2. Commented by: Refusedx

    Not sure buying some nazi black metal is the way I want to help Ukraine

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