Throughout his career, Erik Rutan has done a lot of great for metal. In addition to producing an endless number of killer metal records (including 3 of Cannibal Corpse’s best), he played on some great records with both Morbid Angel and the lesser-known Ripping Corpse. For some reason, his immense amount of talent has never appropriately shifted to his main project, Hate Eternal. To be fair, there is no shortage of impressive musicianship in the band; in fact, pretty much everyone to ever be in this band is an absolute monster. The problem lies in the songwriting (or lack thereof), and occasionally the production.
The good news is that the band’s new album, “Infernus”, actually sounds far superior than their previous album. The only real production flaw is that the drums are a bit too loud and occasionally drown everything else out, but that can be attributed more to the fact that they’re almost constantly playing blast beats. Sure, the madness of 45 minutes of blasting is part of the charm of Hate Eternal, but it is also the reason why the band struggles to create a record worth revisiting. It is difficult to pick out any favourite riffs because everything else surrounding the riff is monotonous. To be fair to Hate Eternal, this is perhaps a slight over-exaggeration of “Infernus”. There are certainly moments without blasting (the epic, pounding, Morbid Angel-esque title track comes to mind), but it is definitely the largest barrier to entry with this album. Even comparing them to a similar band like Krisiun is difficult because the latter band is able to create something much more compelling musically in spite of the sonic assault on drums.
“Infernus” is not a bad record, but it is plagued by bad choices. Namely, the complete lack of memorability, alongside the relentless blast beats make it difficult to even put forth a highlight. Erik Rutan outshreds many of his contemporaries here, but unfortunately that cannot save this record. It certainly isn’t bad for something to throw on and release some rage to, but as a creative effort, it falls below many of its peers.
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3.25/5 or 65%.
Written by Scott