Hate Eternal - I, Monarch

posted by Greg, Wednesday August 24, 2005 @ 07:20:25 PM

Artist: Hate Eternal (http://www.hateeternal.com)
Album: I, Monarch
Release Date: June 28th, 2005
Label: Earache

Rating: 7/10

Recommended Tracks: The Victorious Reign, To Know Our Enemies, I, Monarch, Faceless One

In life, sometimes you feel like splurging on yourself. Sometimes you feel like throwing on your most expensive clothes and dropping 100 bucks on a steak dinner where the beef was massaged and treated better and taken care of more than a majority of middle class housewives. Other times you just feel like taking a sledgehammer to your colon by eating a plate full of Waffle House gristle at 4 in the morning in a futile attempt to avoid a hangover or having a Z-grade meat-stuffed burrito from Taco Bell that a starving dog wouldn't eat. It's the same way in metal - sometimes you want grand, epic, sweeping compositions, a half-hour full of weepy keyboards, wailing guitars, and haunting atmosphere, and sometimes you just want a swift, brutal punch to the mouth that will have you coughing up blood, spitting teeth, and begging for more. Guess which category the new Hate Eternal album falls into?

Hate Eternal's new album features deeply moving compositions featuring operatic female vocals and keyboards that will have you crying at how beautiful... no, I'm just kidding with you. Their new album I, Monarch is best described as a musical sack of bricks being swung into your ears, treading over the familiar ground of the classic American death metal sound and staying very true to its roots. Chances are if you're a Wrekage listener or even a fairweather fan of metal you've heard the name Morbid Angel - Hate Eternal is an offshoot of the godfathers of Floridian death metal featuring Morbid's lead guitarist Erik Rutan (who also handles vocal duties here) and human drum machine Derek Roddy among others.

This album picks up pretty much where every American death metal album since Altars of Madness left off - the name of the game is guttural growling, relentless blastbeats and double kick drums, and thick, pounding riffs. It's mindless fun and serves its purpose very well as an alternative to the Dream Theaters and Opeths of the world. Surprisingly, however, there are a few moments where Hate Eternal slows down the fury enough to throw in a melody or two here and there, with the result being that those particular songs stick out in your mind amongst the clatter that makes up the rest of the album. For comparison's sake it would be something like if you heard blastbeats in an Opeth song or death metal vocals in a Dream Theater song; those brief moments of contrast would stick out in your mind as being out of place like a boner in church as you listen. These bits and pieces of accessibility go a lot way in the amount of enjoyment you get out of listening to this album - I'm a big death metal fan, but even I get tired of listening to the same exact tempo and guitar tone and growling for 40 plus minutes. It's in these moments of curveball-throwing by the band, particularly on songs like "The Victorious Reign", the title track, and the awesome Nile-ish instrumental that closes the album entitled "Faceless One" where the band really shines, lifting themselves out of the glut of cookie-cutter death metal and into something much more memorable and enjoyable.

As mentioned earlier, there certainly isn't anything new going on throughout the course of this album, but it's a well done take on a classic sound. If things like "feeling" and "emotion" and "being a pantywaist" are what you want out of your music you're gonna hate Hate Eternal, but if you're hungry for a solid slab of well-done death then let Hate Eternal be your late night Waffle House for the ears.

- Greg

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