Do you find black metal or does black metal find you? In the case of Hate Moon the spirit of black metal possessed two Irish-American descendants of Norse Vikings* and created the symphonic The Imprisoning War. An album with a track list like a well thought out D&D campaign.
While moving past the Eurocentric medieval themes presented on The Imprisoning War you’ve got a pretty solid melodic piece of black metal. Glistening with innocent hatred and reflecting the purest disdain. While within its simple delivery there can be found a raw and unadulterated passion that transcends any technical knowledge.
The simplicity of The Imprisoning War is also its charm. With the keyboards/synth section sounding like it was recorded straight from a Sound Blaster 16 (an old PC soundcard.) The antiquated choir and strings voices offer a warm countenance to the cacophony of everything else on the album.
Yet looking deeper, or listening, into the malevolent void the guitar riffs are direct and their harsh tones upset the easy going modulation from the synth section. Applying texture first and foremost through their dissonance. While furthering the clause that this is an endearing album.
Hate Moons’ love letter to heavy metal bad guys and cheesy 90’s black metal has a discrete retroactive sound that many would baulk at for its lack of total sonal brutality. Yet this makes it a ruby in a sea of poppies and The Imprisoning War is an album with its heart in the right place.
*The original use of Viking wasn’t actually a noun, but a verb. As in people from the north would go Viking. Used in the same context as we would now imply ‘going berserk.’ Probably.