Negativehate Gets Spiritual and Jazzy on “Hrethgir”

When you hear about a progressive metal/post-metal act, you probably don’t expect your first encounter with them to be as groovy, jazzy, and deep as my first experience with Negativehate was (and yours may be, as well, if this is your first time hearing them). Their recent single “Hrethgir” has various metallic elements, but at its core is a bass heavy, jazz rock excursion that dives into spiritual questions. About 6 minutes in, we start to really get into a movement of melodic doomy metal with a certain black metal influence, but until that begins, the song really feels far more subdued.

The groovy bass lines, provided by Eric Stewart, remains the element that really ties the song together for this rock music aficionado. The metallic riffs, jazzy drums, and various other elements all come and go, but the bass line keeps everything together. The way so many elements flow together is truly captivating, too. While I can certainly give credit to each and every member of the band, for me it’s the bass that provides the glue to hold it together.

It’s difficult to draw comparisons based on this track alone. When listening to the single within the totally of Shapeshifter, the album on which it appears, one could easily begin to mention progressive acts like Tool or even post-rock acts like Explosions in the Sky, however when I listen to the track, the bands that come to mind most immediately are Mogwai, Deftones, and Burzum – three seemingly unconnected acts, but elements of each can be heard in the unique and powerful track.

After you watch the video (above) on repeat for the next hour, check out more from Negativehate on and

Justin has been running websites since his first Geocities site in 1994, but only did he ever start covering anything of substance years later. After he stopped regularly running local concerts in Northern NJ and the greater Philly area, he knew he needed to step up his writing game if he expected to continue to get free music to listen to. He writes regularly here and at Cinapse, as well as contributing to a few other sites on occasion. He likes music, film, the Philadelphia Eagles, the 76ers, talking about Criminal Justice, reading Intelligence Report, and his family... not in that order. His beautiful wife is far more talented than he is and his kids far more adorable... and crazy.
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