Hate Eternal
Infernus

It is hard to believe that it has been eighteen years since the Hate Eternal/Alas demo was released. Hate Eternal being a blistering technical death metal band and Alas being more of a melodic doom project. Both of these projects showing the song writing versatility of Erik Rutan who had been in Morbid Angel and Ripping CorpseHate Eternal was also billed as a super group featuring the likes of Doug Cerrito from Suffocation, Alex Webster from Cannibal Corpse and at that point a very young Tim Yeung on drums.  Even with as raw as the first demo material was you could clearly tell that Rutan had a vision for the way he wanted to arrange his compositions and wanted to create a death metal band that sounded apart from Morbid Angel.  When debut, Conquering the Throne came out in 1999 you could clearly hear the difference between the writing of Rutan and Cerrito.  Both writing influences are shown on the debut effort although I believe Cerrito only wrote two songs.

It seems that there was a larval period from Conquering The Throne all the way up to I, Monarch in which Hate Eternal seemed to break free of their cocoon and really opened up their wings and came into the Hate Eternal sound.  With tracks like “Behold Judas’ “Two Demons” and “Victorious Reign” you had the maturation of the relationship new drummer Derek Roddy and Rutan.  Roddy’s preciseness and ability to effortlessly play huge sections of blast beats and unparalleled double kick work made this album one some consider to be the one that truly set the mark for future Hate Eternal releases.

Let’s set the clock to August 2015 and we have Hate Eternal’s brand new effort Infernus.  A big part of the intrigue to Infernus being the switch in the drum department with Chason Westmoreland replacing Jade Simonetto.  The Ocean and Hate Eternal being very much different bands it is definitely a valid question as to how would Westmoreland handle the shift in styles? He handles it just fine. Recruiting Chason Westmoreland into the mix was a wise move and his drumming adds a different flair than others that have beaten the skins for them. Westmoreland’s drum variety seems to have brought out the best of Rutan and bassist JJ Hrubovcak and it isn’t just his unrelenting blast beats there are jazz elements throughout the album giving the band a new sense of depth. Opener,“Locust Swarm” takes all of five seconds to catapult you into a whirlwind of intense blasting and Rutan’s signature vibrato ringing and pulsating with accented tremolo dives.

“La Tempestad” is my favorite track on Infernus. I cannot get over how intensely fast this is. The meter that Westmoreland sets sounds almost inhuman at times. A collaborative effort brings forth this storm of a performance. The instrumental track, “Chaos Theory” might feel the most out of place on the record in that it almost feels like a fusion jazz with the dissonant chords over the shuffling drum patterns with interesting guitar layering throughout the song shifting into more traditional hate eternal style riff phrasing towards the end of the track.

One can never doubt the work ethic of Hate Eternal. The have consistently put the work in either on the road or in the studio. The way they worked from being on Wicked World productions to Earache records and now with Season of Mist they have built a brand. And they show no signs of slowing down what so ever with this effort.Continuing to press the boundaries of death metal craftsmanship in their combination of blazing speed and dissonance and then being able to contrast that with off kilter layered melody and riveting tempo changes, Infernus stands out. In a year already chalked full of great death metal performances from the United States with groups like Nile, Skinless, and Cattle Decapitation also releasing new fantastic albums. Hate Eternal have been able to evolve and build on a sound that has been continuously shaped, arranged and executed.  This is by far this group’s strongest effort to date. Brace yourself.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
August 31st, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Kevin E.

    I have to disagree, and after an initial listen this one sounds like a big step backwards, akin to Nile’s “At the Gate of Sethu”. The production came across as surprisingly muddled with Rutan’s vocals lost in the mix. I’ll give it a few more listens, but was very underwhelmed the first time around, and this is one of my absolute favorite bands.


  2. Commented by: Nick K

    Kevin,

    Other than the vocal mix what don’t you like about it? It still sounds like Hate Eternal just with a new drummer. I like this material on this one way more than the last record. As a fan i am partial to the first record but I Monarch is definitely up there as well.


  3. Commented by: Jay

    Damn good review. I haven’t listened to it yet, but will check it out and pick it up like I do every other Hate Eternal album. Diggin’ the preview track so far. So far with headphones on, the production isn’t bothering me.

    Sometimes, I just need a good beating and these guys always fit the bill. Always crushing live, too!


  4. Commented by: Dave

    I love all this band’s work, but I think I like this album a little better than their last two. I have to disagree with the comment above about the production – to my ears it sounds significantly clearer and sharper than the last two records as well. The drumming is also top notch, and that’s not to detract from Jade, who did a great job, but Chason sounds a bit more, I don’t know….organic? Natural? Smooth? I’m not articulating myself very well, I guess. Great album.


  5. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Fine album. its right up there with the last 3. no change to me. the slow songs cruuuuuuush.


  6. Commented by: Kevin E.

    Again I need to give it some more spins, but first impression was very underwhelming. Almost sounded like they were just going through the motions.


  7. Commented by: Timothy D White

    I haven’t really liked a Hate Eternal Album since I, Monarch. Everything else just goes in one ear and out the other; pretty much forgotten as soon as I put on something else. Maybe too modern for my tastes.


  8. Commented by: Nick K

    Tim,

    Part of the art of death metal is being able to appreciate the art that we like and also the art that we do not like. I have been a fan of this group since they started. Infernus feels like a continuation of I Monarch to me. If you appreciate older schools of death metal i can completely understand.


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