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Maybe I'm just too jaded. As a man who's listened to Metal and Death Metal in particular for about a decade I have a kind of affinity to Eric Rutan and Hate Eternal. Few bands manage to play the Floridian Death Metal sound with so few frills and tags with such conviction. With Hate Eternal you have a band that plays nothing but Death Metal without any Progressive, Core or Grind, or Black Metal touches. Pure Death Metal that sometimes flirts with tech but never falls into that particular quagmire of banality.
So as a man who worships at the throne of Possessed and Death I appreciate what Hate Eternal do. Thing is they've been doing pretty much the same thing for 5 Lps now.
Everything about this LP sounds exactly like something that would be found on I Monarch or King of All Kings. There are a few nice breaks here and there, the pre-requisite soaring solos can occasionally jump out at you but nothing grabs you by the throat in the same way that Fury & Flames did. Now say what you like about that album in terms of songwriting quality but it was a kick in the teeth by any measure and it had personality.
Phoenix Amongst the Ashes kinda rumbles in the background. One vocal arrangement in Phoenix Amongst The Ashes (the song) reminds me of Bringer of Storms with it's repetition of "Rise, Rise, RISE!" sounding just like Bringer of Storm's repetition of "Now, Now, NOW!". The opening riff of The Eternal Ruler reminds me of the opening riff of Behold Judas. Basically Hate Eternal seem to be ripping off themselves and this kind of incestuous song writing breeds indifference from someone is familiar with the bands history or releases and history of Floridian Death Metal in particular.
Maybe I'm just too jaded. I've been spoilt by the space odysseys from Mithras. I can't help but fell that if Hate Eternal had jumped ship to make a progressive release a'la Enslaved or even a Core release a'la Cryptopsy I could conjure up a bit more excitement, through either praise or venom, for this album.
At the end of the day, the bottom line is, by and large, taking everything into account, weighing up the pros and cons this is Hate Eternal being Hate Eternal at their most Hate Eternal. With the exception of Fury & Flames this LP is interchangeable with the back repertoire of this band, and although I won't condemn them for being simply consistent it's hard for me to commend them for the same thing. 3 stars.