There is a goat depicted on the over of this CD, add to this a pretty unoriginal title and you can be led to think that GNOSTIC is another stupid Black Metal act presenting not a sparkle of interest at all. Fortunately, GNOSTIC's music is far more interesting that that. "Hatewar 666" is an album build up from various past recordings (an EP and some demos) summing up the period 1997 - 2002. GNOSTIC hail from the USA and feature ex-THORNSPAWN member(s). The two first tracks of the CD made me think of an obscene copulation between early BATHORY (for the sound rawness) and ANGEL CORPSE (thanks particularly to the vocals of Lord Magus Obliterater, very reminiscent of Pete Helmkamp's ones). The band let flow some Scandinavian vibes on some occasions, but the larger part of the material presented here is more Death / Black Metal oriented in an old school fashion. On 'Riddle Of The Nightwatchman', GNOSTIC experiment a little bit, reminding me of BLACK FUNERAL strange songwriting and atmospheres. Since the material on offer here cover a rather long period of time, the whole record gives the impression of a work in progress by a band struggling hard to find its own style. But at no moment GNOSTIC can be caught as derivative and generic, because of their obvious enthusiasm and their solid compositions, all the tracks are extremely interesting to listen to. "Hatewar 666" is surely a little gem that every lover of real underground cult should consider to acquire. I enjoyed it immensely myself. www.infernusrex.com for more info.