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Hate Eternal - "Infernus" (CD)

Hate Eternal - "Infernus" CD cover image

"Infernus" track listing:

1. Locust Swarm
2. The Stygian Deep
3. Pathogenic Apathy
4. La Tempestad
5. Infernus
6. The Chosen One
7. Zealot, Crusader of War
8. Order of the Arcane Scripture
9. Chaos Theory
10. O’ Majestic Being, Hear My Call

Reviewed by on September 14, 2015

"For those who like death metal unrelentingly heavy and a tad on the technical side, “Infernus” is an easy top-of-the-genre choice."

Four years after “Phoenix Amongst The Ashes,” we get another iconic Florida death metal offering titled “Infernus” from the Hate Eternal crew - Erik Rutan, Chason Westmoreland, and J.J. Hrubovcak (speaking of Hrubovcak – when will another death metal Christmas album be dropping? Inquiring minds want to know).

Hate Eternal doesn't mess around, and “Infernus” is insanely intense from the first second of “Locust Swarm” onward. Overall, the album tends towards a hyper-speed pacing, both musically and lyrically, with the vocals offered at a rapid spit-fire rate. Tempo changes pop up to keep things interesting though, like the progressive slow down near the ending quarter of the aforementioned “Locust Swarm.”

As a U.S. death metal release, there's brutality and aggression galore, but balancing that out are tricky guitar and bass flourishes in both the back- and foreground of the music, offering a more technical feel. The bass in particular is worth noting, as it doesn't get lost in the sea of heavy sounds and doesn't end up underutilized like in the typical extreme metal album.

Showing that insanely heavy music can still have solid structure and even a hint of melody, “The Stygian Deep” opens with a mysterious atmosphere as the guitars slowly get louder like they're ascending out of those Stygian depths towards the listener. “Chaos Theory” is another one that tries to imitate its name, offering up a swirling maelstrom of cyclonic sound, and the instrumental nature of the track brings to mind Blotted Science or Brain Drill.

At six and a half minutes, the title track is unfortunately a little overlong and has a lot of repeated segments. While there is easily more variety present than what you'd hear with a standard old school or brutal release, this style of death metal still works better in the shorter or middle lengths. Only stumbling for a moment, the album then slams into an incredibly heavy concoction of bass, guitar, and rapid fire drums at the start of the more concise three minute “The Chosen One.”

Hate Eternal is incredibly tight on the musicianship front across the whole album – clearly these are guys at the top of their game putting out difficult material that would be tough for the average player to master. For those who like death metal unrelentingly heavy and a tad on the technical side, “Infernus” is an easy top-of-the-genre choice.

Highs: Expert level playing at high speeds but with enough variation to remain sonically interesting.

Lows: Title track is probably longer and more repetitive than it should be, and sometimes the vocals feel a little low in the mix.

Bottom line: Hate Eternal offers aggressive and brutal death metal with a technical edge.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)