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I must have been asleep the day it was decided that Hate Eternal would be the critical darlings of the death metal world. Metalsucks and Decibel both have major hard-ons for the band. I can't say that I really agree with the fellating these band get, personally. Don't get me wrong, I think they're decent, but they have never really been a favorite of mine. To me, they have mostly been a standard, run of the mill death metal band.
The biggest problem I have always had with Hate Eternal has been the production. The drumming is always much too high in the mix, to the point that it really drowns out everything else going on. Which would be okay if the drums were doing something truly interesting, but they aren't, it's just blasting. It would still be okay if the music wasn't doing anything interesting. Honestly that's hard to tell, because it can't be heard over the blasting.
So, I was curious to hear this album, based on my relative disdain for the band in the past, King of All Kings notwithstanding. I will say the band has grown. Musically, there is some interesting stuff going on for the most part. Of course the blasting drums are still very much present which does detract from the music. Of course at other times it can be pretty awful, such as the opening riff to "The Art of Redemption" which would not sound out of place on a Dillinger Escape Plan song. By the way, I hate The Dillinger Escape Plan.
Hate Eternal is definitely an intense band. And very few other bands can match their brutality and energy. Unfortunately, this all becomes a bit overwhelming when not even the sparse melodies can ever really be heard. I still don't get the love this band receives, but this album is decent enough. It just won't make my Top 10.