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pure, unadulterated audible brutality - 97%

ReaperMan, January 6th, 2012

Phoenix… is pure, unadulterated audible brutality. While there is no word more overused than “brutal” in the metal scene (maybe “Slayer”), the list of those who can match Hate Eternal for sheer brutality is short (and contains the names Cryptopsy and Vital Remains [maybe Deicide]).

Hate Eternal records have always been marred by diluted production; the guitar and bass work is usually lost to the constant onslaught of blast beats. With Phoenix, Eric Rutan has finally got it right, and at the most essential of moments in the band’s career. On par with the brutality, the album showcases a level of songwriting and composition constantly approached, yet never before reached by the band.

The drumming of Jade Simonetto is much more precise than his raw performance on Fury & Flames and Eric Rutan’s voice is utterly devastating.

Upon first listen, Phoenix… instantly eclipsed I, Monarch as my favourite Hate Eternal album, and in a year dominated by extraordinary death metal albums has managed to do the same to any other release within the genre this year.

I don’t know what kind of terms Rutan’s on with the band, but after the piece of shit they put out this year, I’d like to think this album is a big “fuck you” to Morbid Angel.

Better written than I, Monarch, more brutal than King Of All Kings, Phoenix… is a death metal masterpiece. “Riiiiise! Riiiiiise! Riiiiiiiiiise!”