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Hate Eternal – Phoenix Amongst The Ashes – Album Review

Hate Eternal – Phoenix Amongst The Ashes – Album Review
Website: www.hateeternal.com
Fans Of: Death, Behemoth, Origin
Label: Metal Blade
Download This: Haunting Abound
Genre(s): Death Metal
Release Date: 09/05/11

What is the riddle of steel? Well if you believe that flesh is stronger than any metal, then Erik Rutan is the answer. One listen to Hate Eternal’s latest Phoenix Amongst The Ashes and its easy to believe that Mr. Rutan can transform his body into organic metal; a real life version of X-Men’s Colossus.

Phoenix stands out far from the death metal pack, with everything raised to the next level from its excellent predecessor, ‘Sound and Fury’. Technicality, brutality and stellar musicianship meet the high expectations Hate Eternal established from the beginning. The clarity of production is even better than on Fury, without sounding antiseptic. But what makes this offering different than previous outings is that each song stands on its own, which is something very rare in the genre.

The first minute of ‘Haunting Abound’ contains more varied riffs than most entire death metal albums. But check out the opening sequence of ”The Art of Redemption, and you hear guitar notes and scales aplenty; setting up one of the most technical songs on the album. Simonetto’s drums provide the pummeling backdrop for Rutan to display his talents; which have never been more developed.

One thing that Hate Eternal is also to be commended for is the lyrics. They don’t break new ground, but the fact you can decide for yourself without the lyric sheet is always a bonus. Everyone enjoys some Neanderthal grunting, but come on…its fun to scream to RISE! RISE! while driving past two churches (yes, I do every morning and yes, I’ve been told to ‘tone it down’).

If Conan had an iPod, this is what he would play and give mighty thanks to Crom…before cranking the volume, unsheathing his sword and rushing into battle. It’s that good.