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Hate Eternal - Upon Desolate Sands Award winner

Hate Eternal
Upon Desolate Sands
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 11 November 2018, 2:22 AM

Florida Death Metal giants, HATE ETERNAL, unleash the beast with their seventh full length album, “Upon Desolate Sands.”  It has been some time since I’ve listened to HATE ETERNAL; I listen to so many bands that, sadly, some always tend to fall through the cracks.  I’m extremely glad Rutan and co haven’t lost any of their brutality since I last listened to them years ago.   Their Death Metal takes a tight grip on the throat and just rips it out, bloody entrails and all.

They don’t waste any time on this album making their point made.  “The Violent Fury,” immediately destroys the senses with rapid fire, well, everything.  All three members are firing on all cylinders; this three pieces creates a very heavily immense sound. Rutan must be commended for his ability to play/write riffs that are just as guttural as his vocals.  From song to song, he pushes through riff after riff all the way never swaying from making his voice heard.  It doesn’t hurt that the production is good enough to keep everything balanced despite the instruments being an audible bludgeoning tool. Grossman's drumming is impeccable, such is attention to detail while being a living tank.  Thankfully, the drums aren’t overproduced or too loud to enjoy.

There are subtle hints of melody and the slight stretching of their signature sound.  “What Lies Beyond,” and “Nothingness of Being,” both use the lead guitar in such a way that a bit of melodic atmosphere shrines thru. The title track usage of light chants/clean vocals creates an atmosphere that adds epic undertones without compromising the Death Metal. It works well for the band because it isn’t overused but instead methodically placed. There are several enjoyable guitar leads sprinkled throughout the album and they usually have an unique sound to them.  “Portal of Myriad,” is one such example with a short but sweet solo that finds its place perfectly in the song. At just under 40 minutes in length, the album really is the perfect time limit for music of this type and I can tell not a second was wasted during recording.

Upon Desolate Sands,” really echoed NILE and maybe even a bit of BEHEMOTH but its still distinctively HATE ETERNAL, helped no doubt by the ripping riffs and double bass. HATE ETERNAL don’t make any great strides in changing their sound but this isn’t the type of band that needs that to happen anyway.  Rutan knows exactly what he wants and how to achieve it, and that is something admiral. Death Metal has a banner year with dozens of great releases; I’m not quite sure if this album can topple some of them but it is definitely a great addition to the genre.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Violent Fury
2. What Lies Beyond
3. Vengeance Striketh
4. Nothingness of Being
5. All Hope Destroyed
6. Portal of Myriad
7. Dark Age of Ruin
8. Upon Desolate Sands
9. For Whom We Have Lost…
Erik Rutan – Guitar, Vocals
JJ Hrubovack – Bass
Hannes Grossmann - Drums
Record Label: Season of Mist


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Edited 08 June 2023

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