No one combines death and black metal quite like Poland’s Hate. With unflinching viciousness and a sense of atmosphere unique to the band, on Rugia, their twelfth full-length, they push the boundaries of their craft even further. Writing for Rugia commenced shortly after Auric Gates of Veles was released. However, Hate soon began to tour extensively in support of their then new opus, and the production of new music was put on the back burner. But come 2020 and the COVID pandemic, the band’s touring plans with Belphegor and Suffocation were abruptly cut short. With this unexpected infusion of free time, the band decided to buckle down and finish writing the material they were working on. The album title is taken from the archaic name of a German island on the Baltic Sea now called RÃ¼gen. In ancient times, RÃ¼gen or Rugia, was a site of holy pilgrimage to the pagan Slavic people. It was the very heart of the western Slavic faith, housing the fabled stronghold of Arkona. The album is at it’s core a tribute to Rugia and it’s tribes and the culture they created.