Review: Hate Eternal “I, Monarch” [Earache Records]

Review: Hate Eternal “I, Monarch” [Earache Records]

- in Reviews
Rating 83%
Scary chaos done right
83 %
User Rating : 3.9 (1 votes)

Hate Eternal don’t exactly play music that could be described as welcoming. This sounds like what be going on at the center of the Earth, at its molten lava core. The music flows like hot magma, reaching temperatures of at least ten times hotter than the hottest setting on your oven. Like yeah, that hot. It’s an instance of “try this at your own risk” as the environment is as instantaneously hostile as the hellish pit of a volcano. It compromises for nothing and straight away plunges the listener into a chaos of atonal madness and percussive annihilation, the likes of which was quite unique for its time – “refreshing” wouldn’t quite be the word, but unique nonetheless.

Not surprisingly given the band’s name, the riffing is essentially pure hatred in the form of extreme brutal musical expression. The guitar work navigates in an ocean of scorching magma violence, punctuated by drummer Derek Roddy’s nauseating pounding of the kit, relentless and precise. The parts come at the listener like some sort of a natural disaster. There’s a real distress heard in the dissonant riffs as they’re twisted at will and depict an odd writhing motion. Tritone fury leads the ball on massive layered diminished power chords, linked up with obscure octave chords strolling around the tracks in predatory-like fashion and single-note riffage for a bit of definition in this utter discordant mayhem.

A didjeridoo even makes an appearance (‘To Know Our Enemies’) and there’s an odd low-pitched, reverb-laden clean voice at the start and finish on the title-track, like an incantation, all adding an extra component of eerie atmospheric darkness to the whole. The lamenting solos cry in anguish and contribute their own drama on the high spectrum of the frequency range over the bottom-heavy rhythm work. Describing the music here, it dawns on me this could be labeled horror death metal. The vocals are a particularly abrasive type of low death growl; hi-res cookie monster roars; although intelligible considering the style here, and coupled with the higher shrieks form a potent double vocal presence at the front of the mixes.

What this album particularly does well that the two previous and the following ones didn’t necessarily, is it managed to craft recognizable entities out of the chaotic clay it set out to work with. This isn’t just a large oven dish with muddy amorphic matter poured into it and thrown on the table for the public to try their best and grab some. Most tracks have a recognizable signature to them and more than just one part will stay with the invested listener.

Not every song is a death metal classic as this is a solid 10 track piece with an average of 4min of content per, however the album keeps the momentum going throughout as opposed to merely presenting two or three highlights early and calling it a day. The first tracks include arguably ‘the’ highlight and brutal death metal hymn ‘Behold Judas’, the awesome and lugubrious title-track is placed right at the middle at Track 5, and Tracks 6 and 8 (the epic ‘ Path to the Eternal Gods’ and ‘ It Is Our Will’) are among the best and most recognizable, and the album ends on a rare instrumental for this style in the jazzy (dare I say… hip-shaking ?) ‘Faceless One’. Alright I’ll just spell it out: this track is death metal salsa. Not really, just having a chuckle. Well, it wouldn’t be an outrageous notion to imagine Rutan and the band doing a terribly serious ritualistic dance to this in the studio.

Overall this mammoth of an album contains some of the most titanic-sounding headbang-inducing grooves and blast-beat led pounders the genre had to offer, and it’s certainly still true today, and the crux of it here is Rutan and friends managed to keep it relatively concise as well as focused and detailed, avoiding merely shitting out a hot steaming pile of undefined waste. Thankfully for their buttholes they kept off the Taco Bell this time around, which may not be said about their later releases that focus more on shape over content.

Release date: June 27th, 2005

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About the author

I like my metal the way I like my chocolate: dark and bitter. But I also like vanilla pudding, so my awesome mystique is forever tainted and unpure.

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