Hate Eternal
Phoenix Amongst the Ashes

There are those out there that think death metal is dying or dead. That the once proud genre has succumbed into a riffless, soulless, pro tool pandemic and become full of stagnant clones or simply fallen into pure homage and worship. For the record, I am not one of those people. However, if I were, I’d say Hate Eternal–along with labelmates Vomitory–are here to prove everyone otherwise. Pure. Death. Metal.

Eric Rutan’s last effort, Fury & Flames, was a double edged sword. On one hand it was an utterly furious slab of death metal, but on the other had it was almost relentlessly unlistenable. Thankfully, Phoenix Amongst the Ashes reigns things in a bit with a cleaner, more listenable production but retains the excellent songwriting and blistering  intensity — akin to I, Monarch.

Another album, another bassist, with JJ Hrubovak (Monstrosity) continuing the legacy of Jared Anderson, as well as Randy Piro and Shaune Kelly, but ultimately the show belongs to Rutan and drummer Jade Simonetto (who Rutan culled from the deathcore/math core ranks of Camilla Rhodes and The Plasmarifle for Fury & Flames). The kid is a beast behind the kit. So while the album delivers all the tenets of what death metal should be– furious blasts, growls and merciless speed due to Rutan’s guitars and Simonetto’s drums–the albums shines best when the trio wind things down and deliver something slower and more controlled.

Sure, the likes of “The Eternal Ruler”, brain numbing “The Art of Redemption” (with a sickening opening salvo that will shatter glass and dog’s eardrums),  “Deathveil” and “Lake Ablaze” are pummeling bursts  of raging fury and purist death metal annihilation, but the standouts are when Rutan takes his foot off your throat just a little. “Hatesworn”, the title track and moody closer “The Fire of Resurrection” are simply devastating when slower, more menacing churning riffs take over and threaten to shift matter. Yet, the singular standout has to be ” Haunting Abound”, arguably Hate Eternal‘s and Rutan’s finest track; the perfect balance of twisting Gateways to Annihilation lurch, double bass assault, other wordly solos and pure vocal malice with a final minute to die for. And the less oppressive  production allows Rutan’s riffs to breathe a little more (though not overproduced or overly clinical), while still keeping their unbridled fury.

This is the album classic and Floridian death metal needed. With all the negative rumors swirling around the new Morbid Angel, Rutan has fully stepped out of his Morbid Angel days and the student looks to have surpassed the master with his third elite album in a row.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 23rd, 2011


  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    heard a new song off this last night. sounded good.

    Rutan produced a couple tracks on the new album by the indie-folk-rock band The Mountain Goats. sounded good, too.

  2. Commented by: Stacy B.

    While I generally try to stay out of the “A + B = C” formula when it comes to describing the music on a record, I must say that you are totally accurate when saying how this album does cull the best of “Fury And Flames” and “I, Monarch” sonically and musically.

  3. Commented by: faust

    Great review Erik. Have had this album lying around for a while.. gotta listen to it ASAP.

  4. Commented by: Reignman35

    Good review and I couldn’t agree more with you on track 4 “Haunting Abound”… the intro riff/drum pattern is beyond sick… This whole album just slays.

  5. Commented by: SirJohnPaulMcDeath

    Great Review.Phoenix Amongst the Ashes is a Masterpiece of DeathMetal…Erik Rutan has crafted the best Hate Eternal album to date.Jade Simonetto’s drumming is brilliant and does this guy only have two hands and two feet?If fury and flames introduced people to Jade this one will finally put any doubts as to his ability to rest(He’s insane!).J.J.Hrubovcak is a great new addition to the band.This gets a 9.5/10 from SirJohnPaulMcDeath.You can’t take it don’t brag about it! \m/.

  6. Commented by: Heath

    unbelieveable production,musicianship and songs. It just blows away any death metal album that i have bought in the last ten years. 10/10!!!!!!!!!!

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