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It's The Derek Roddy Show!!! - 65%

mustaine_is_god_96, August 28th, 2012

Hate Eternal managed to impress me with their thunderous debut, "Conquering the Throne". However, now, I find them quite generic and boring. And there's a good reason why: they're relying too much on their drummer!!! In this case, the only guy who made a big impact on this album was Derek Roddy.

I, Monarch actually starts out very well. Two Demons had this album coming out of the gates fast and furious! They managed to keep it up with the blazing "Behold Judas", which I consider the best song on the album. Great drumming, catchy lyrics, great vocals, and I even found the main riff quite memorable. "The Victorious Reign" is another blazer with many of the same elements as Behold Judas. To Know Our Enemies continues the fury, and then comes the atmospheric intro of "I, Monarch". At first, I thought "Oh boy, with such a great build-up, this song has to be great!"... only to be hit with massive disappointment. The rest of the song is just the same riff and blast beats over and over again. At this point, they fail to continue on their previous momentum, with only "Sons of Darkness" and the instrumental "Faceless One" keeping the second half of the album any more interesting.

I was shocked. How could such an awesome formula fail to keep me engaged in this album any further? The answer was simple: Derek Roddy overshadows everything. I'm a sucker for fast drummers, but sometimes, the constant blast beats and double kicks get quite boring and generic. Same for the guitar riffs: at some points in the album, they are quite memorable, but they are mostly just boring and generic.

Overall, I thought that this album had a blazing start, but the title track broke their previous momentum, and they just started playing boring and generic riffs the rest of the way. But the entire way, even on memorable songs like "Behold Judas", Derek Roddy's drumming just overshadowed everything.

Highlights: Behold Judas, The Victorious Reign

Slaughter at the Strongman competition - 70%

autothrall, June 8th, 2011

Not sure what the obsession with 'royalty' is among Hate Eternal's album titles (Conquering the Throne, King of All Kings, and now this), but it probably has something to do with the pseudo-Satanic menace and majesty Rutan is attempting to exude through the lyrics and music. A new John Milton, born of a ripping corpse? This time the concept is joined to a rather abstract cover. Clearly not as cool as those of the first two albums, but at least an interesting aesthetic abstraction from what most people were likely expecting. Musically, I, Monarch does not fall far from the sophomore King of All Kings, intense and discordant where it requires, dynamic and forceful, but perhaps not quite so heavy overall.

At this point, the issue with Hate Eternal is that the band's adherence to becoming the newly defined Morbid Angel of the 21st century is like a tsunami without an unsuspecting port to destroy. Rutan and Derrick Roddy whip up a veritable storm of calamity here, with incessant blasting and so much double bass that it becomes a rather moot point: such a brick wall that it hinges on the listener's exhaustion. Thus, in diametric opposition, I find my ears listening for anything that diverges from this formulaic ferocity. I turn straight towards the lead sequences of "To Know Our Enemies" or "Behold Judas", which weave appropriate malevolence into the aggregate jock escalation of the drums. I bathe in the wonderful escape of instrumental finale "Faceless One", in which the duo and bassist Randy Piro exhibit enormous skill at something more musical than you will find elsewhere on this album: a whirlpool of delirious percussion and coiling riffs that cede into scatterbrained fusion leads and thrashing.

But this is not to say that the thrusted excess is necessarily unwelcome, because tunes like "Path to the Eternal Gods" or "The Plague of Humanity" are well adapted to their chosen trail of destruction. Brutal bricks of contaminated concrete, urine, feces and flies being flung at the audience in dizzying waves, each with a stupefying muscular definition. I, Monarch takes a lot out of you, and the fact that the production is a dash more wholesome and contemporary than the more stringy ablutions of King of All Kings is not a crippling factor. However, it does suffer from that pervasive 'more of the same' syndrome that so often lurks in the rafters of the more extreme death metal reaches. Rutan and Roddy seem so intent on flattening all the opposition that they don't quite realize what great songs they might be capable of if they were to slow it down a notch and evoke the surreal menace that the cover image seems to hint towards. This is still a good album, but less impressive than the first two trips to the edge.


Can You Listen To The Whole Thing? - 35%

Akerfeldt_Fanboi, July 27th, 2009

Because I sure as hell can't. I can't even listen to the first song, because it just drags and avoids everything that can make a straight-forward death metal song good or memorable (great riffs, furious grunts, and slam grooves).

Instead we are treated with the awful 'Two Demons', so we skip to the almost pretty good 'Behold Judas'. Now, this song has a chorus that makes Mr. Rutan sound confused, as the lead line of the chorus repeats at the wrong times and makes it sound like he can't keep time vocally. Anyways, the instrumentals sound like a Morbid Angel clone, but down a step in creativity and actual good writing.

That's another thing, it seems that while he was in Morbid Angel, Rutan stole some ideas from fellow guitarist Trey or that he just infused those ideas with riffs stolen from another band he was in, Ripping Corpse.

One thing I can't fault the man on are his vocals, they are superb. Ranging from a hoarse yell/grunt to a primal scream, he fills out a decently wide spectrum, or just wide enough to keep most fans interested.

The drumming is your usual blastfest, which is dissapointing, and furthermore the fills and style kind of bore me. It's the same reason why Inferno from Behemoth isn't as good as claimed, the drums just plod along (at a rather quick pace) and are content with doing the same thing...for 42 fucking minutes.

The bass is almost absent, save for a few moments when the vocals and drumming don't overpower everything else. What I heard from the bass was pretty standard, so whatever. Speaking of all that, the production is pretty good. Very modern sounding, but still has that wall of sound feel without actually being a wall of sound.

The songwriting is atrocious, howwever. Rutan can't keep up with where death metal is going, I think, and it really shows here. Maybe he is trying to do straight-up death metal...but then why are there atmospheric-attempts and long-drawn out riffs that need to evolve somewhere? I don't know, maybe he's trying to compromise between modern, technical stylings and the old-school fury.

The guitars are pretty cool on this album, however. A little too much "there", if you know what I mean, and they just seem to be there to be there, not making any impact, or creating any musical force that makes me impressed. The guitar tone is sufficient for a modern band, thick and grinding, and definitely with cut mids. The guitar-playing itself is infinitely sub-standard, and the riffs are mediocre by themselves. The solos are pure drivel, going nowhere, like a bad John Petrucci or something.

This album is really quite bad, but it gets quite a few points for a good song or two, good vocals, good guitar tone, a cool title track, and that's it. It gets such a low score because of EVERYTHING else.

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who is into good death metal.

1) A monarch may not injure a human being - 86%

Cheeses_Priced, August 11th, 2007

Supposedly this sounds just like Morbid Angel, which is very untrue in the sense that no two bands sound quite alike, but very true to the extent that a lot of death metal bands sound like Morbid Angel. Hate Eternal guitarist and general frontman and guy-in-charge Eric Rutan has been in and out of that band now and again as “the other guitar player” and so there's another strike against them. I'd never mistake one band for the other, though.

What this album really sounds like is the first two Hate Eternal albums (this is number three), not surprisingly. I thought they were both pretty good, but this one's a whole lot better.

For starters, Eric Rutan's broadened out to using an impassioned gothic vocal style, with some occasional falsetto parts, which works surprisingly well. Combine that with the jazz-influenced drumming and the occasional violin solo and it's clear we're dealing with one of those rare bands that's open-minded enough the move the death metal genre forward.

Of course I'm kidding. There's one small concession to originality (in the usual sense) in the form of some brief tribal drumming (there must be a more accurate way to describe it than that, but bear with me) but I don't think it's convincing anyone, and I could live with it being omitted altogether.

What does this album have going for it, given the fact that it so sorely lacks violin solos? Why bother with it, when there are already two other Hate Eternal albums in precisely the same style? Well, would you believe that the music's better? Consider it as a more perfected version of the rough drafts heard on the first two Hate Eternal albums. Thankfully the predictability that hindered King of all Kings has been jettisoned in favor of more intricate (though understandable) structuring. More superficially, the production is much clearer, while retaining the same power.

Eric Rutan has no other goal with Hate Eternal than to play straight-up death metal, so if you have other goals as a listener, it would be wise to steer clear. He's a master of his craft, though, on the level of riffing and songwriting in the style. What he's doing may not impress you, but how he's doing it should – don't be so jaded as to dismiss it out-of-hand because it doesn't “move the genre forward.”

Tickticktickticktick - 18%

Noktorn, April 11th, 2007

Tickticktickticktickticktickticktickticktick go the strings of my heart. Well, not really those; more the poor, abused head on Derek Roddy's snare drum. This album has more tick-tick-ticking than your average Kataklysm record, which is definitely saying something these days, as I thought that band pretty much had the monopoly on savage snare rape when it comes to the pantheon of death metal. But with a new Hate Eternal record, the three-piece always finds a way to up the ante on how much monotonous blasting you can fit onto one CD. Which I guess is commendable in some peoples' eyes.

For all the Hate Eternal that I've heard, they actually did have some vaguely interesting moments on their debut album 'Conquering The Throne'. I think there was about five minutes on that record that was not drenched in blast beats. 'King Of All Kings', however, most certainly set the bands pattern in motion. However, even that record was pretty tolerable on songs like the title track, which was short enough to maintain your attention despite how repetitive it was. But no, on 'I, Monarch', Hate Eternal doesn't even have the remote decency to at least keep the songs to a bearable length. The songs here are terrible, terrible epics at about five minutes long each, and what do you think those five minutes each are reserved for? Yes! Blast beats and mindless, random tremolo riffing!

I'm not saying that the band has to change up the tempo to be good. I'm not even saying that they necessarily have to use anything other than blast beats to be good. I'm saying that a death metal band at the very least needs to make their monotonous blasting vaguely interesting with at least some memorable riffs to hold everything together. Erik Rutan doesn't even manage that: there are no 'riffs', just guitars doing vague things over and over again to add another layer of noise to the proceedings. Are the vocals interesting? Hell no! An utterly trite and boring grrrr is all that you get (except for the first 45 seconds on 'Two Demons', which feature one cool low growl, and the vocal interplay makes this probably the best section of music on this boring-ass record). And of course, what would Hate Eternal be without Derek Roddy's idiotic, self-indulgent drum performance where he tick-tick-ticks away on his snare drum at a speed which is supposed to be 'impressive'.

Allow me to take the time to express just how massive my distaste for Derek Roddy is. I have no idea whatsoever how this man became some sort of champion of metal drumming that everyone refers to with doe-eyed adoration. Yes, he's fast. Yes, such speed requires coordination. But how can everyone be so willing to drive drumming, nay, skill with a musical instrument down to a dick-waving contest with the finish line being an enormous stamp of 'BPM = 300'? Okay, so he can muster up some spectre of technicality once in a blue moon. Too bad he's used his talents probably twice in the history of Hate Eternal. And yet, despite how loathsome his ticking is, he is (or was) the jewel in Hate Eternal's enormous crown of incompetence. After his departure, I routinely stated that Hate Eternal should just use a drum machine; after all, no one would notice the difference in mechanical blasting.

Roddy's complete lack of variation in Hate Eternal music is even more unbearably hilarious because of his previous statements on the nature of drumming. A video response to his fans, among other things, mentioned that back in the 80's metal drumming was only 'five to ten percent blast beats'. What, Derek, do you need to make up for lost time!? Was everything in metal designed to build up to that immortal coda that is The Blast Beat? I know he can't possibly think that; his other bands express a great deal more variation. On a final note, let's all have a moment of silence for his failed audition for Psyopus, proving that he most certainly lacks something in his equation. So I suppose that not everything can be blamed on Roddy; it's just a very big, very convenient target for why Hate Eternal sucks to terribly, with 'I, Monarch' easily being the very worst they have to offer. No, just as much blame rests on Erik Rutan (let's ignore whatever bassist of the week they have, as they possess essentially no creative input). He, of course, makes riffs with a similar lack of variation or anything remotely interesting, instead leaning on an endless supply od droning tremolo to uphold some pretense of 'brutality'. Guess what: brutality comes from songwriting, not how many notes you can pack into one space.

Hate Eternal is a classic example of all that is wrong in death metal today. No atmosphere, no creativity, not even any well-done worship. There's nothing of value here whatsoever. Ignore.

Not Quite Kingly, But Close - 89%

Erin_Fox, October 29th, 2006

Hate Eternal lets loose the unlimited power of brutality here on their third release, which is a commendable daeth metal outing. Displaying a ferocious, methodological prowess on tracks like the hyperblasting, crippling “Behold Judas” and the slashing dervish leadoff cut, “Two Demons,” Hate Eternal gives listeners plenty of wallop for their dollar.

Erik Rutan offers a blackened sonic war soundtrack in “The Victorious Reign”, a track that explores the boundaries of extremity, as this basher is delivered at a unmerciful pace while remaining decidedly infectious and memorable. The title cut fades in mysteriously, with a uncharacteristic tapping introduction which segues into a lurching blast.

Randy Piro and Derek Roddy each turn in tremendous performances from a technical standpoint, taking blasting to a new level on “To Know Our Enemies”, one of the record’s definite highlights. One of the primary reasons Hate Eternal reign so effectively here is Rutan’s acute dynamic emphasis. He often places sounds into the foray that are highly different for this type of music, his production work almost surpassing his massive performance.

Certainly, this is an album that will be considered to be a benchmark in extreme music by many, with Hate Eternal continuing to advance toward becoming a breed unto themselves. “Path Of The Eternal Gods” finds the group to bring a wall of blustering power that could easily be considered as the most excessive form of sonic thunder ever to burst through a speaker.

“I, Monarch” is a considerable victory for Hate Eternal overall, containing everything you would expect from the group as well as some aspects the astute devotee of death will find to be pleasantly surprising.

Excellent - 95%

Doomrock, April 26th, 2006

I found this CD used and figured it was worth a shot. I'm a big Morbid Angel fan, and I figured Erik Rutan could do no wrong, and I feel with this one I was right. This CD is absolutely nuts.

I was a little worried about what the production might be like when I read that Rutan had produced it. I have the Dim Mak "Intercepting Fist" album, which is excellent, but it sounds more like it was recorded by hobbyists. That is not a problem here, as this album sounds absolutely excellent. However, if you have a cheap boombox, turn off the bass boost or you'll think that Derek Roddy is the only performer on this album.

I can understand the "I've heard this before" argument, but if you've heard it before you can't say you could hear it much better than here. The riffing is only vaguely Morbid Angel-esque, and it's pretty easy to tell that this isn't Morbid Angel (not a knock on that band by any means). Erik Rutan is in his own element here, and this is a devastating album.

I don't find there to be much in the way of monotony here, as the performances on this album are excellent. The songs have their own identity, and you can find favorites on here within a few listens. I would reccomend this album to any death metal enthusiast on any day of the week.

There's no filler here, but if I had to pick a few songs on the album as being the best, votes would have to go to The Victorious Reign, The Plague of Humanity and Faceless One, the latter of which Roddy really shines. This album made me a Hate Eternal fan for life.

I've heard this before. - 50%

Monstro_City, November 19th, 2005

Well, it’s been three long years since our last encounter with Hate Eternal. And within such a grotesquely large portion of time, one would be led to believe that the particular band would have used that time to its advantage. The truth being, they did and they didn’t. While I will contend that I, Monarch is much better than their previous efforts, I will also proclaim that they didn’t do nearly enough for me to consider this new album worth my wait. Not that I was anticipating this album. Nevertheless, they remain predictable, bland Death Metal. Not that I mind, being a fan of the genre I can say that I, Monarch was definitely entertaining, but only on the first one or two listens. Beyond that, it began to bore me. And then I started listening to Cryptopsy…

First and foremost, I would like to address what differentiates Hate Eternal’s new work from their old. Occasionally throughout the album, for some reason, they decided to slip in a few synthetic sound samples here and there. Just atmospheric keyboards, nothing too over the top, and definitely nothing dislikable, but not nearly important enough to mislead me into believing that Hate Eternal have turned over a new leaf. Furthermore, the production on this album was crystal clear. That was a major help. Unfortunately, that is all that has really changed. And far too much about them has stayed the same for I, Monarch to be noted as a worthy attempt.

Same as always, their Drummer sounds like he took just a little too much speed before the recording session. The larger portion of this album was dominated by mid-paced Death Metal riffs, overlapped by unnecessarily rapid Percussion. There were very few moments in I, Monarch for me to catch my breath, which wouldn’t have been so horrible if there were more innovative Drum patterns, but it was mostly just the same, overly fast Double Kick that eventually made the CD feel stale. One positive comment on the Drumming, however, is that once or twice on I, Monarch there was a tribal-like essence that gave the album a more rhythmic aura to it. Yet, those moments on the album were only few and far between.

One thing that I will say about Hate Eternal, before this review is wrapped up, is that had they made the rest of the tracks on the album more like the last one, I, Monarch would have been a triumph. And bare in mind, that the last song (“Faceless One”) isn’t the only highlight on the CD; it’s just the best. In closing, if you are going to buy one of their albums: make it this one. It’s extremely heavy, fast and violent, but I cannot stress how many other Death Metal outfits are out there doing the exact same thing. I give I, Monarch an honest 50%. In my book, that is average. But if you are going to buy this CD; you might as well buy anything by Fleshgrind, Desecration or Disgorge. Same shit, different pile! And I like those bands…

Good, but not progressive - 83%

ad, July 31st, 2005

After Hate Eternal`s last release called “King of all kings”, I was almost at the point where I would consider them the best brutal DM band ever, but this release has changed my opinion a bit. I, monarch is not a bad album at all, in fact it is one of the better albums released this year. What I dislike with it is the monotone, the predictability and the annoying fact that you are listening to similar songs over and over again. Hate eternal are perhaps one of the fastest and most brutal bands in the death metal scene right now, but if they don’t manage to compose more original music they will definitely lose a lot of fans. This album has a lot of great moments and several astonishing riffs. Erik Rutan’s vocals are also better than ever, creating a dark and majestic atmosphere in most of the songs. His lyrics (about paganism, anti-Christianity, strength etc) on this record are maybe the best he has ever made, but I miss the entirety given by Jared Anderson’s lyrics on King of all kings.

Due to Jared’s drug problems HE obtained a new bassist named Randy Piro. He seems very good, but the bass is bare audible on the album, so it is hard to judge. He contributes with some vocals and two songs on the album; “Behold Judas and “Sons of darkness”. Randy Piro will probably have a great future in Hate eternal, considering his fast integration in the band.

Now over to the album’s biggest surprise, the supreme drummer, Derek Roddy. I didn’t think it was possible to play any better than Derek did on the two recent albums, but apparently it is. With an amazing discography and insane drum skills, I would not call it an exaggeration to appoint Derek Roddy as a drum god. His drumming is technical, extremely fast and from time to another very groovy. He also gets a chance to play a song without blast beats, an instrumental titled “The faceless one”. On the opening track, “Two demons”, he really kicks several asses with his insane speed and enormous technique.

As you can’t call this album bad (because it isn’t), you can call it disappointing. “Behold Judas”(definitely the best song) was available for download some months before the record came out, and I was honestly expecting the album to be at equal standard to this song, which it unfortunately wasn’t. In my opinion this song is a mixture of all the positive elements on I, monarch; speed, fast vocals, nice leads and a bit groove.

Although I have given a bit critique so far in the review, don’t miscomprehend what I am trying to say. This is in fact a good album. Just listen to songs like “Behold Judas”, “Victorious reign” and “To know our enemies”. The slow part with the nice cymbal work on “It is our will” is also very good (the complete song is nothing to brave about, though). But the album as a whole gets a bit boring and doesn’t have that much to offer compared to other DM releases this year. So a conclusion for Hate eternals newest effort would be that it is a good album with inconceivable speed and marvelous vocals, but a masterpiece? No…

Rutan's latest delirium of grandeur - 98%

Kishmakay, June 20th, 2005

Eric Rutan continues his quest for delivering the most brutal and technical Death Metal possible.

This albums is neither things but it certainly displays that Eric is getting closer to his goal. The production here is a lot better than in their predecessor "King of All Kings" but still lacks the thickness and heaviness of their debut "Conquering the Throne". The drums are far more audible and comprehensible and Derek Roddy punishes relentlessly his drum kit as ever, delivering a stream of blastbeats interleaved by twists and turns without being limited just to that.

The riffs are very good and explore a wider range than the previous albums, though following the same principles. One thing that I highly appreciate is how texture is created and managed by all instruments, delivering layer upon layer of intrincate and rich sound fabric. The solos, as usual, are built primarily upon the modal system, giving the songs a good middle-eastern vibe.

The last track "Faceless One" is something a little bit different. It is an instrumental track and is different from the rest of the album because it lacks the insane blastbeating, allowing the drums to wander around different scopes and grooves.

It is an excellent album. Definately a must have for all fans of Hate Eternal's previous works. I heard the album is coming out in different editions, so I am hoping to put my hands on the fancy one. :-)