Hate Eternal - _Phoenix Amongst the Ashes_
(Metal Blade, 2011)
by: Aaron McKay (10 out of 10)
Exposing the fact that this effort is the number one on my top ten of 2011 uncloaks the timeframe as to when this review was written. To be sure, since the early part of May, _Phoenix Amongst the Ashes_ has undeniably set the bar at a virtually impossible level for even exceptional bands to approach in hopes of unseating this masterful release from its throne for the entire year of 2011.

As was summarized in the last paragraph in the Chronicles of Chaos review of Hate Eternal's last effort, 2008's _Fury & Flames_, persistence, excellence, quality and time have coalesced on this brilliant release. Unrushed and with painstaking determination, Erik Rutan and Hate Eternal have forged an emulsification of the rarest elements of death metal's finest fundamentals and innovation with _Phoenix Amongst the Ashes_.

Most Chronicles of Chaos readers are certainly at least cursorily familiar with Erik Rutan's accomplishments, as well as Hate Eternal's definitive back catalog. Forging a stellar reputation with the seminal Ripping Corpse, honing skills early on with the incomparable Morbid Angel, diversifying styles with Alas and now producing some of the best known outfits in the business (Cannibal Corpse, Goatwhore), Erik Rutan lays out his best work to date with _Phoenix Amongst the Ashes_.

Each of the ten tracks on _PAtA_ is relentless. Inexorable rhythmic and technical guitar passages, devastating low end and drum tempos that scar the imagination -- from start to finish, after forty minutes the listener is bruised, battered and beaten, then hits "replay" without fail.

As the phoenix rises from the ashes, appropriately enough the ominous minute and a half instrumental "Rebirth" launches things off. This release morphs violently into "The Eternal Ruler", a track that immediately sets the echelon of aggression to a high water mark with extreme prejudice. "Thorns of Acacia" and "Haunting Abound" -- the latter song enjoying some air play on satellite radio -- continues the clearly insane tempo with breakneck speed, drop-dead beats and unimaginably proficient instrumentalization reflective of the majesty so pervasive on the album.

"The Art of Redemption" and the title track together supply some of the most impenetrable audio evidence of the technical skill, ability and soloing Hate Eternal has created to date. Both songs are inescapably tight, cohesive, rhythmically challenging and completely brutal, yet complex enough to hear new, interesting variations upon subsequent listens over and over.

"Deathveil" and "Hatesworn", cuts seven and eight from _PAtA_, offer the more catchy and infectious, yet rippingly ferocious passages Hate Eternal has laid down in its exceptional history. The consequentially fiery and incendiary actualization for _Phoenix Amongst the Ashes_ culminates with "Lake Ablaze", followed by the masterful, artfully executed "The Fire of Resurrection".

Hate Eternal has developed itself through a true trial by fire into the definitive jewel in Metal Blade's crown to be certain. Jade Simonetto on drums / percussion with J.J. Hrubovcak on bass guitar add a dimension on _Phoenix Amongst the Ashes_ that is sure to put a profound smile on founder / vocalist / guitarist / producer Erik Rutan's face. Utterly exceptional. Positively quintessential. Impossibly irreproachable. If this is the phoenix from the ashes, the metal community should tread ever so lightly and with anxious apprehension, What could possibly be next for the mighty Hate Eternal? Unbelievably crushing!

Contact: http://www.hateeternal.com

(article published 12/2/2012)

7/5/2008 J Smit Hate Eternal: Born of Fire
4/15/2008 A McKay 9.5 Hate Eternal - Fury & Flames
6/20/2005 J Smit 8.5 Hate Eternal - I, Monarch
3/16/2003 M Noll 7.5 Hate Eternal - King of All Kings
10/12/1999 P Schwarz 8.5 Hate Eternal - Conquering the Throne
1/25/2004 J Smit Hate Eternal / Dying Fetus / Deeds of Flesh / Prejudice Why, Mr Sound Engineer, Why?
10/13/2003 A McKay Hatebreed / Madball / Hate Eternal / Terror / Cephalic Carnage Hemp Heaven? No, It's Iowa!
8/12/2000 M Noll Deicide / Immortal / Cannibal Corpse / Marduk / Vader / Dark Funeral / Hate Eternal / Vomitory There's No Mercy in Satan's Oven
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