Death metal juggernaut Hate Eternal led by uncompromising Erik Rutan has fallen into a pit of mediocrity after their perhaps the best album 2005’s I, Monarch. Three albums that followed that beast have been good but nothing above it: they got the work done but the band itself has fallen into the pit of predictability. Now it is time to remedy that with Hate Eternal’s seventh full length entitled Upon Desolate Sands, and I must mention that I have spotted right away Erik once again has enlisted the new member behind drum kit. This time it is none other than famous Hannes Grossmann holding the reins of drum throne and everyone knows his technical abilities are almost second to none. The man has provided violently blasting backbone of the music and it seems that Erik himself found some new inspiration to reconquer the throne (see what I did there) for his own brand. The thing is, Upon Desolate Sands could be described as mixture of the best things Erik did in his rich musical past. Basis of the music is brutal death metal akin to first three Hate Eternal’s albums which are universally hailed as their finest hour, but there is also huge Morbid Angel sinister vibe and twisted Ripping Corpse harmonies interwoven into the mix. The final result is, as I have stated, very aggressive death metal but with emphasis on diabolic vibe so it is elevated above constant hitting which becomes boring very fast. The topping on the cake are solo sections which are very tastefully done and further add to mentioned overall vibe of the music, so I would say that Upon Desolate Sands reminds me a great deal of times when Hate Eternal along with Krisiun, Angelcorpse, Diabolic and other selected few bands took death metal from melodic pussification of the scene into totally brutal realm. Hate Eternal can be proud as with Upon Desolate Sands, the faith into this name is finally restored again!
- Slobodan Trifunovic (8)
- Season of Mist CD