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If you make an overview of global history, you’ll notice how it tends to do the same thing in individual ways, whether it’s illogical genocide, war, or Bill Clinton getting some hanky-panky from a walrus; case in point, it all happens again, just in different forms. In death metal, we’ve often seen Ripping Corpse’s Erik Rutan aim at modernizing the genre with Hate Eternal’s hazy approach, typically forging dull efforts like “I, Monarch.” Alas, “Fury & Flames” still does everything under his particular sun: absorbing trends in death metal, and generally exercising an agenda too ridiculous for its own good, as he’s done before and still does here. Rutan has often times jumped so far overboard that even the genius mind of Alex Webster can’t do anything but watch; he’s clearly trying too hard, and “Fury & Flames” once again acts as another limited result of a fragile, faded musician unsuccessfully trying to obtain the energy from years past.
As its name hints, Hate Eternal’s fourth full-length is like a thousand storms emerging into one, but when saying so, please understand I mean that in the worst way possible. Once the cacophony kicks in, there’s just cloudy guitar sounds invading everything in sight while blasting, technical percussion randomly runs around like a savage madman missing his frontal lobe, and that’s honestly what the whole record sounds like. Hunting for riffs has already left your family starving before even finding a scoping spot, because you need to actually observe comprehension when playing guitar in order to lure in the fine, elegant creature nearly all bands can do without thinking; Hate Eternal, on the other hand, still hasn’t checked for more room in the skull. Hell, Rutan’s growls are faintly good at best, so entwining it all together feels dangerously irritating, almost like death metal is just meant to be incoherent noise slandered in monotonous shouting. Pretty bland stuff, if you ask me.
Yet complications certainly do not halt there, as a dreadful command involving merciless woes pulsing at your face has been given. Most noticeably, solos are rarer than a unicorn, Bruce Willis, and a horde of vampires having tea in Malebolgia’s underpants. There’s maybe six in total, but that might be pushing it. Also, Alex Webster is apparently the bass player here, but where is he? I can only detect a set of pseudo-riffs and spastic percussion layered over foggy growls, but still, it’s completely fine throwing a towel over his presence. After all, he’s just the only reason people have hope for this band, and one of the greatest death metal elites of all time. Nothing too special, right Ruten?
I’ve made myself listen to this CD countless times in hopes of finding something blooming and original, yet within each experience lies an undeniable truth about Hate Eternal’s overall weakness no matter who or what stands in for battle; an invalid attempt at desperately dragging its personal chains up Olympus’ stairs, only to stumble from its grueling expectations for all eternity. Sadly, “Fury & Flames” is nothing more than another Hate Eternal release that tries too hard and fails at vitalizing decency like a starving wolf that ate its food without thinking about tomorrow, so just avoid or watch Erik Ruten musically and poetically struggle for the zillionth time like usual.
This review was written for: www.leviatan-magazine.com