Well alright, alright, alright. My entry into the album review world comes thundering in with a blast. I wanted an album I thought I would like to start off with. I’ll be damned if I didn’t choose well with HATE ETERNAL’S new one. I did not want to begin with conflicting interests. I haven’t. Let me just say that aside from his musical contributions, Erik Rutan is unabashedly my favorite producer in the heavy spectrum right now. To me he has his finger on the pulse of the death metal and proto-Thrash sound. All of his most recent productions have had stellar mixes. Infernus (August 21, Season of Mist) is of the same ilk.
As I listened for the first time, I was instantly taken back to the sounds of 1992. A wave of calm poured over me. Yes, death metal does that to me. HATE ETERNAL deliver right off the bat. The first track “Locust Swarm” starts swingin’ at the ol’ dome piece from the first measure. I am a firm believer that a good opener is necessary to grab the listener. Harmonics scream and blast beats grab you alright.
As the album progresses tracks like “The Stygian Deep” are appeasing enough to keep you tuned. But the third song, “Pathogenic Apathy”, these are the ones I was waiting for. Classic Rutan. The new addition, Chason Westmoreland on drums, is a fantastic addition. He gleams on this track. Rutan has the tightest right hand since Hetfield circa 1987. The riff is crushing. Time changes and speed changes abound yet fit seamlessly together to make it flow perfectly. The song is a killer from start to finish. It is followed up by “La Tempestad”. This one really showcases Erik’s production skill. The layering is amazing. It makes an otherwise “filler” track sound really good.
Onto the title track “Infernus”. It starts off crushing. Slow. Spoken word. The pace quickens. It never really picks up to the speed I felt it deserved. I kept waiting for a full on assault. I see this many times. Title songs that shouldn’t have been. This is my least favorite of the first five. I wouldn’t say forgettable, but definitely not the star of the album. BUT. BUT… “The Chosen One”. Sweet baby Jesus. This is the tune I’ve been expecting. Classic punishing HATE ETERNAL. The speed. The ferocity. It’s brutal from the first note to the last. Chason again hits it out of the park. Two solo sections. One melodic, one all over the place. “Zealot, Crusader of War” is a nice deep cut. The seventh of ten tracks, it’s almost a little too template style for me. Has a nice jazzy solo, though.
“Order Of The Arcane Scripture” is once again a classic HATE ETERNAL-style track. It is immediately ollowed by “Chaos Theory,” which seems to be a new page added to the already impressive talents of Rutan and company. It varies greatly from every other song on the disc in many ways. First off, it is instrumental. And not of the type you would expect from a St. Petersburg/Tampa death metal band. An extremely progressive riff with plenty of groove. I really dig this one. Closing out the record is “O’ Majestic Being, Hear My Call”. If you didn’t know better, you’d say this was a BEHEMOTH song. A great ending to an already great catalog of music. The ending solo sings its way right into a final chorus of groovy, goodness.
I knew I would listen to Infernus multiple times before settling on my final verdict. But as the record comes to a close for a third time, I find myself stuck with the final fade out. It seems as if “To Be Continued…” would roll over top of this at the end of a great movie. I highly suggest this album. It delivered on every front. Bass, guitar, drums and vocals.
Hopefully my first review went as well for you as it did for me. Tell em Myke D. sent ya.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Pathogenic Apathy”, “The Chosen One”, “Chaos Theory”