Songs Of Hate + Hate is not the first collaboration in between those two projects. Gnomonclast and Art Abscons co-operated on a split-EP in 2011, which also featured Luftwaffe, which was released as well via Italy’s Old Europa Café (like some other of their stuff). Luftwaffe and Gnomonclast share members, by the way, being J1 Statik and N2 Itiniti, in case it might interest you. Anyway, both Gnomonclast personnel and Art Abscons’ Grandmaster Abscon created different pieces that, within mutual understanding and co-operation, grew into a thirteen-tracker that got gathered under the Songs Of Hate + Hate banner, and this in just one week. The concept deals with the relationship in between hate and love, comprehension and forgiveness, failing morality and inter-human equality. And once again MimiKry offered her beautiful voice to enrich several of the compositions.
For fifty minutes, variety is the driving keyword, for all artists included put their own stamp on it, sometimes individually, then again in a fabulous joint experience. Songs Of Hate + Hate starts with Our Hour / Heiliger H8!, which opens with a very short spoken introduction, soon followed by a bizarre synth wave and tribal percussion patterns. After about one minutes, those elements, including the warm voice (in German), get joined by different suddenly-appearing additions (read: strange noises, samples, sounds). After one more minute, the whole slowly evolves into hypnotic levels, with inclusion of other vocal ranges (also in English), unusual melody sounds and several layers of instrumentation. For sure Grandmaster Abscon did push his influence into this piece. The second song is called Before, and it’s more like a semi-traditional Neo-Folk composition, mainly based on semi-spoken propaganda (with multi-layered vocal ranges in the refrains) and melodious acoustic guitars, smoothly joined by an ethereal female voice and piano. In Gitarren Und In Flöten is even more folksy than what we’re used. It’s almost like a Pop-Folk ballad that does not deserve much more attention, unfortunately. Quite some pieces hold the middle in between the battlefield-pride of Before and the almost happy camp fire singalongs à la In Gitarren Und In Flöten. But once in a while the whole turns towards rather apocalyptic / martial conviction too, often including the simplistic (which isn’t a bad definition) acoustic guitar riffs à la Ordo Equilibrio (mind the absence of the ‘Rosarius’ interlude, for I am truly referring to the earlier years), Blood Axis or even Weh and the likes, as well as the typifying war drum patterns (War Between The Words). Fine are the subtle and not-that-hidden additions of Noise (Verborgener Gott), piano, xylophone and violins (like in Der Schlüssel, quite an asphyxiating poem that twists the listener’s brain), or the floating keyboard lines that lift some pieces up to higher dimensions (like the war march hymn Monsters). With Schweine, everything turns heavier and more ‘gothic’ in sound, and this song includes electric lead and bass guitars. …not badly performed, for sure, and once again proving the diversity of this project’s identity. Here too the female voices are profoundly on the foreground, and for some reason or another, I have to think about Lacrimosa’s Fassade / Echoes era.
Songs Of Hate + Hate is a quite ‘different’ and ‘unexpected’ approach to the Neo-Folk scene, and or you will adore it, or you’ll turn sick. For sure it’s quite unique in approach, which one cannot but hail. But the result surely lacks ‘balls’, depth, intensity and, to my concern, persuasion.