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Hate Eternal – Phoenix Amongst The Ashes

- Thursday, June 9, 2011

1304383451_1302789080_hate-eternal-phoenix-amongst-the-ashes   Hate Eternal is, and has been since its inception, top notch death metal. Mastermind Erik Rutan (ex-Morbid Angel, ex-Ripping Corpse, ex-Alas) has, since the very first album Conquering The Throne, never failed to produce quality brutality and chaos with excellent musicianship. The latest release, Phoenix Amongst The Ashes, not only holds to that standard, but blows it out of the water.

   Every Hate Eternal release, from Conquering The Throne to Fury & Flames, has been an impressive death metal outing; full of chaos, brutality and exceptional riffing. Until Phoenix Amongst The Ashes, I had no idea something was missing.

Rebirth   This ominous, dark, and heavy intro builds up very well on a simple but effective riff to hand deliver your ass for its thorough kicking by the first full song on the album, The Eternal Ruler. As intro tracks go, this dominates.

The Eternal Ruler   In true Hate Eternal fashion, The Eternal Ruler explodes in your face with the trademark melodic-yet-dissonant riffing we’ve come to expect. The sheer mayhem and brutality of it is both undeniable and inescapable. Jade Simonetto’s drumming is unrelenting, tight, and effective. If you’re a fan of Erik’s absolutely demonic vocals, this will not disappoint.. The first lead of the album feels like an evolved version of what I’ve loved hearing from his Morbid Angel days through Hate Eternal. The second lead is a chaotic finger-work bit placed shortly after.

Thorns of Acacia   The assault that ensues with Thorns of Acacia carries an attacking melody that I’ve often found stuck in my head after listening. Its chorus embodies what I love most in metal. It is a chaos which, if heard from afar, appears as a serene wave in an endless sea. This is the kind of movement that reaches deep inside of me and conquers my focus from all else. The repeated motif in this track’s lead is the perfect touch.

Haunting Abound   Haunting Abound was the first track I heard from the album, being streamed from the album’s page on Metal Blade’s website. It is a crawling, black chaos and aptly named. From the chaos to the slow, haunting interlude, this song carries you through the depths.

The Art of Redemption   From the beginning, utterly chaotic lead, to the insanely maniacal riffs to follow, The Art of Redemption kicks your ass. Its mid-song lead is beautiful and melodic. Its riffs are unstoppable, crushing, and annihilating.

Phoenix Amongst The Ashes   The album’s title track opens with a beautiful, melodic riff, carrying one’s mind through the fires of destruction and creation to the ashes left over. The mantra of Rise! Rise! Phoenix Amongst The Ashes! Rise! had me swaying in my chair, screaming along.

Deathveil   It’s hard to recover from the last song to focus on this one. Deathveil is another unrelenting assault of brutality. The dissonant elements of this song are especially effective.

Hatesworn   Hatesworn is a powerful, brutal, standout track on this album. It seethes with hatred and malevolence. No more needs to be said.

Lake Ablaze   Lake Ablaze was the second song streamed by Metal Blade, and the album’s first proper single. While not a standout track on the album, it is no less effective nor powerful. The interlude riff is captivating.

The Fire of Resurrection   What the hell can I use to describe The Fire of Resurrection? Epic, huge, powerful, immense, beautiful, infernal, godlike… did I mention epic? From the beginning march, to the indescribably powerful phrasing over the heartbreakingly beautiful octave slide riff, to the melodic leads, The Fire of Resurrection is the track on this album.

   I feel like a tool, giving such an ass-kissing review; but, I assure you, if there was something that sucked, I would have pointed it out. With Phoenix Amongst The Ashes, there just isn’t anything horrible. This is a true progression for Hate Eternal. There are elements of melody and pure darkness on PAtA that were missing before. Hate Eternal only continues to grow and improve; I very much look forward to what happens in the future. Erik Rutan is truly a master artist and craftsman.

5/5 – Hands down, a brilliant release.

Hate Eternal website
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Mana Recording Studios

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