Hate Eternal I, Monarch

Three years after King of All Kings and six after their debut, Conquering the Throne, Hate Eternal have decided to continue on their thematic journey to the ranks of blaspheming royalty. I, Monarch sees the return of this three-piece led by ex-Morbid Angel guitarist Erik Rutan reigning in all the brutality that characterised their previous efforts. Unexpected twists and turns relentlessly appear throughout a continuously pummelling and thunderous cochlear assault. The complexity added to persistent thrashing makes this album remarkable. They invoke eclectic and technical riffs over constantly morphing beats instead of just playing off tired tremolo and boring blasts. The record is immediately reminiscent of their previous works. For the most part, it’s the same light-speed attack with a cocky guitar solo placed somewhere near the end of the song. The exception to this comes with a peculiar Euro-prog instrumental that closes the album. HE are recognisable based on their own merits, which is more than most extreme death metal bands can say, so their lack of progress is forgivable. (Earache)