Jan 31, 2019

Hate Eternal (2018) Upon Desolate Sands 'Review

Band: Hate Eternal
Country of Origin: United States
Genre: Death metal
Type: Full Length
Format: CD Digipak
Length Approx.: 39:00 min.
Release Date10-26-2018
Release Label: Season of Mist

IR Classification: Good (4.4 / 5)

Listen to our review! (English)
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Merciless from beginning to end that's how sound this devilish opus.

Erik Rutan and company return with their sixth sonic assault, aptly titled “Upon Desolate Sands” but, believe me, this is an album that will not accumulate dust in your shelf, not at all. Being very honest, I must say that I am not a huge fan of Hate Eternal, mainly because I have considered their previous work as being overproduced and lacking any emotion or catchiness. Nonetheless, this opus is filled with so many surprises, balancing the unmerciful onslaught of brutal riffs with a pretty dynamic showcase of superb drum work and solid basslines. So, let’s go ahead and take a much closer at what this album has to offer.

The opening track, “The Violent Fury” is just that: a relentless ass-whooping of catchy riffs and rapid drum work, while Erik Rutan furiously barks his commanding vocals, which, at times, can get lost in the background while the guitars and drums take centerpiece, occasionally allowing bassist Hannes Grossmann to delight us with his technical basslines, adding a nice touch to the composition.
“What Lies Beyond” opens in a slow and menacing style, as a prelude for what’s to come. I noticed in the opening riffs, the bass rears its ugly head, and then, the rapid riffing takes place, unleashing the aural assault where Erik combines velocity with a little bit of atmosphere, adding a sense of brooding, before delighting the ears with a great guitar solo. This is a great track that combines a mid-paced tempo with a great amount of speed.

“Vengeance Striketh” once again combines a mid-paced tempo, and the drum work has a “military march” pace to it, but the bass stands out on his own, coming out much clear and accompanying the onslaught of riffs. This track has an instrumental section that has a groovy feel to it, before deconstructing into heavier riffage. Vocally, Erik resorts to a dual vocal assault, which augments the aggression, and to top it off, the closing guitar solo, damn!  Pretty melodious but adds a great touch to this track to close it with style.

“Nothingness of Being”. This track starts off with a pretty sinister feeling to it, combining a somewhat slower pace in the guitars, but the rhythm section counters it with speed. This time, the drum work courtesy of J.J Hrubovcak is a little bit slower and focused on atmosphere, but the work with the double-bass is simply relentless, not slowing down for one bit.  We have another great guitar solo that emphasizes mood over a technicality, which closes this track efficiently.

“All Hope Destroyed”. My goodness, the name fits it perfectly. This track is hell-bent on punishing the listener with its avalanche of heavy riffage and hideous basslines. The riffs combine a great deal of technicality but believe me, the brutality is not sacrificed at all. Added on to that, the drum work is quite varied, combining bursts of speed with plenty of rolls and fills, to match perfectly with the onslaught. Here we have another guitar solo with a good dose of feeling and mood, to wrap it up quite nicely.

“Portal of Myriad” has a pretty strange sounding opening riff, only to break down into a destructive drumming assault. The riffs are quite ominous while the bass compliments the guitars, offering a dual assault of rhythm and mood. Early on the track, we have this moody guitar solo, while the drums slow down just enough for the bass to continue making an act of presence. As the album fades out, it takes a little pause to reprise the strange-sounding riffs of the earlier moments, only to brutalize you once again with its crushing guitar/drum attack.

“Dark Age of Ruin” more than makes up for its title. The opening sequence has an evil sounding guitar/bass combination, in order to make way for the blast-beat assault, which, in this occasion, seems to be focused on delivering as much punishment as possible. There are moments when the bass lines really add a great touch to enhance the song structures, and it is on the brief, but slow sections when it allows the listener to be impressed. The guitar solo on this track has a pretty groovy feel, paving the way for the ending section, which slows down a notch to wrap it up.

The title track starts in an ominous style, with a few feminine chants which set an eerie mood in order for a great assault in all senses, with the three instruments collaborating together to develop one of the strongest tracks of the whole album,  in order to close with an instrumental track, titled “For Whom We Have Lost”, which is nothing short of magnificent, due to its incredible and moody riffs.

To wrap it up, I sincerely believe that Hate Eternal have outdone themselves in this record. The combination of brutality, slow passages, varied and interesting drum work have created a monstrous record that does not shy away from being groovy as well. Production- wise, I think that there is vast room for improvement because, as I had stated before, sometimes the guitars and drums drown out the vocals, and the bass only appears on the slower sections, so I think that this instrument deserves much exposure. Erik and the boys are great musicians, but I think the production needs more improvement.

Stay True… Stay Metal… Stay Brutal…

Written by: Juan Jose Montiel

Track List:

01. The Violent Fury │ 02. What Lies Beyond │ 03. Vengeance Striketh │ 04. Nothingness of Being │ 05. All Hope Destroyed │ 06. Portal of Myriad │ 07. Dark Age of Ruin │ 08. Upon Desolate Sands │ 09. For Whom We Have Lost (Instrumental) 

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