Album Review: Hate Eternal – Upon Desolate Sands (2018)

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Artist: Hate Eternal
Album: Upon Desolate Sands
Record Label: Season of Mist
Release Date: October 26, 2018
Review by: Sean Cantor

Violence of action is a concept that suggests an unrestricted and immediate use of determined force in order to achieve full dominance over an enemy. Hate Eternal embodies this force. Since their conception, mastermind Erik Rutan, has led an unrelenting charge of creating pure death metal. Upon Desolate Sands, takes all the elements that have historically made Hate Eternal the force that they are and refined and amplified them. If the enemy is every other death metal album of 2018, Upon Desolate Sands, easily achieves full dominance.

Hate Eternal has always been a band in defiance of stagnation. This is especially clear on Upon Desolate Sands. The instrumentation in terms of technicality is at an all time high. Every bit of Rutan and bassist J.J. Hrubovcak’s typical dissonant and chaotic riffing can be found throughout the album yet the production allows every riff to cut through with impeccable clarity. Potentially the most noticeable leap forward musically is in the lead guitars. Rutan performs the most distinct and impressive leads of his career. “All Hope is Destroyed” closes with a piercing yet melodic solo which ends up being one of the most memorable points on the album. New addition to the band and drumming mastermind, Hannes Grossman, adds a level of creativity and precision to the to each song as well.

Upon Desolate Sands
 is an album of drive and purpose. Hate Eternal is able to maintain quality songwriting amongst the technicality and chaos, something many current death metal bands struggle with. The songs express new ideas for the band without losing what has become their trademark sound. “The Violent Fury” opens the album as violently and immediate as any Hate Eternal track while the boundlessly brutal and detuned “Nothingness of Being” crushes at a trudging pace. The title track stands as one of the most monumental pieces Hate Eternal has delivered and will surely be a monstrous live experience.

 

Hate Eternal’s, Upon Desolate Sands, is violence of action musically embodied. This album is a testament to the power of will. Every moment, on every instrument, feels injected with the power of a band that will not submit or succumb to any limitations. This is an album for those in defiance of sterile and weak-minded formulaic bands settling into what works for them. Upon Desolate Sands is not only the death metal album of 2018 but, it’s a goddamn mindset.

 

Rating: 5/5

RIYL: Morbid Angel, Krisiun, Skinless, Monstrosity