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A little less than stellar, gentlemen. - 25%

Necropsychotic, March 17th, 2008

What is wrong with modern US death metal today? It seems to get worse and worse every time someone comes out with something new. It emphasizes the speed and brutality of death metal, yet overlooks coherency. The future looks bleak for US death metal if it keeps going down this path.

Hate Eternal is no exception in this case, as much as I hate to admit it. Fury & Flames is a far cry from what the force Hate Eternal once was. They have become a mere shadow of what talent they have shown on past efforts. First, what hit me as soon as Hell Envenom started was the production. I still want to know where it is. This production, or lack thereof, would have been fine for a band just beginning. However, that is not the case for this particular band. This band has released three great albums, all with better production than the last. Then, they felt that they could go raw black metal on their fans and strip down any polished death metal feel the album had and gave us this abortion they called production. Well, guys, it just simply does not cut it. Back to the drawing board in that department, Erik.

Now I enjoy a slight lack of coherency and displacement from reality in the guitar riffs. The said lack of coherency is welcomed, in some cases, to add flavor and life to the album. In this album, the guitar riffs are filled with nothing but incoherency. Erik and Shaune proved that they cannot work together, since one guitar tries to take lead over another, even when it's not supposed to. By that I mean there are two lead riffs playing where some rhythm should be laid down. That happens especially in Hell Envenom. Never have I been so confused after listening to a song. Another problem I have are with the guitar solos. The solos do not fit into most of the songs. It's not that they can't be put in at all, it's just that they are added in at the most inopportune times. The solos are so out of place that you can pick out where they should go but were kept out for a later part or added too early.

Jade Simonetto is a good drummer. He adds in some good licks into the album. With that being said, you cannot hear what he is doing since the drums are hiding behind the wall of noise called the guitars. Whether that was done intentionally, I cannot say, but it sure was annoying since the obvious highlight of the album was hidden behind the wall of guitar noise and wankery. Now, on to the bass. Alex Webster can barely be heard on this particular album. The magnificent bass lines he usually lays down can barely be heard. Was the bass amp not on? It would not be surprising. It may has well have been, since not even Webster's fantastic bass lines could not save the abomination this album is.

Hate Eternal really needs to go back to the drawing board. Three years, for this?! Absolutely unacceptable. You had time to clean up your production and work on your instrumentation. In other words, Fury & Flames sounds extremely rushed. For your sanity, avoid this album. I feel embarrassed that I spent $16 on this, while it is barely worth $3.