It could be argued that Hate Eternal are like the AC/DC of technical death metal, a band that somehow keep cranking out albums that are so similar to each other, that, despite the familiarity, doesn't detract from the fact that they are completely enjoyable no matter how much we realize that we've kind of heard this all before. The bands latest release, Infernus, pretty much falls in line with the rest of the Hate Eternal catalog in that it delivers Erik Rutan's penchant for frenzied, blast beat driven technical death metal ferocity, it's lots of fun, but after a half dozen spins it's hard to differentiate this one from Phoenix Amongst the Ashes, Fury & Flames, or I, Monarch. Again, that doesn't mean that this latest platter of brutality isn't well done and a great listen, cause it sure as hell is. Everything we've come to love about this Florida death metal unity remains intact, with new drummer Chason Westmoreland flailing away like a machine, Rutan's massive riffing ever present, and bassist J.J. Hrubovcak rumbling with renewed vigor...it's Hate Eternal from start to finish. The band does try to mix things up a little, from the melodic lead guitar flourishes of "Locust Swarm" to the almost doom laden groove of "Pathogenic Apathy", there are little bits here and there that offer some variety from the tried and true formula, but for the most part, Rutan's venomous growls attack over a non-stop assault of mighty, technical riffing and jackhammer blasts on punishing tunes like "La Tempestad", "The Chosen One", and "The Stygian Deep". The added depth that more melodic guitar patterns provide on the excellent title track and the grandiose yet brutal " Zealot, Crusader of War" is where this band is really hitting on all levels right now, as I think they've proven over the years that they can pummel the listener with their technical precision and juggernaut might quite effectively, but a little added nuance and, dare I say, 'progressiveness' can go a long way, and it does here.
In summary, Infernus delivers what we expect from Hate Eternal, along with a few little surprises, making it another very solid entry in their historically consistent discography. If you've been on the fence with the band, I'm not sure this album will help convert you, but longtime fans should really dig this.
1. Locust Swarm
2. The Stygian Deep
3. Pathogenic Apathy
4. La Tempestad
6. The Chosen One
7. Zealot, Crusader of War
8. Order of the Arcane Scripture
9. Chaos Theory
10. O' Majestic Being, Hear My Call