Following on from 'The Most Ancient Ones', Ukrainian black metal band Hate Forest's 2003 second full length, 'Purity' continues in the vein of if its predecessor with fast, cold, harsh and uncompromising black metal. The music is lo-fi and frequently repetitive, with simplistic bars of fast riffs hammered out endlessly whilst the drums blast away in the background, although the songs are nevertheless extremely well-structured, with engaging song progression and variation in tempo that keeps the adrenaline pumping at all times.
There are also sweeping, melancholy eastern-european sounding riffs evident here and there throughout, and occasionally a song will switch to a much slower tempo, swapping the bouncy and aggressive hammering for the poignant, epic feel in the style of Hate Forest's sister band Drudkh.
As before, the vocals are guttoral and distant-sounding, complementing the inhuman nature of the music brilliantly, which conveys imagery of prehistoric blizzards, frozen wastes, desolate forests and ancient battles.
The album is near flawless, with no filler to be found, and its repetitiveness is perhaps its greatest strength, channelling the listeners mood through series of simple but musically tight chord progressions.
The inner sleeve artwork is also stunning, consisting of a beautiful monochrome image of a barren and freezing-looking desert landscape with a cold but fiercely bright sun glaring down from the sky above, whilst the booklet also folds out to offer an excellent illustration of a desolate clifftop.
'Purity' is a cold, relentless and immensely powerful black metal album that stands as one of Hate Forest's greatest works.
1. Domination 05:54
2. Elder Race 05:23
3. The Gates 11:03
4. Megaliths 02:33
5. The Immortal Ones 11:24
6. Desert of Ice 06:06
7. Cromlech 02:10
Total playing time 44:33