Published Oct 25, 2018Hate Eternal occupy a spot near the very top of metal's heaviness chart, regularly spitting out material that would make most bands curl up like potato bugs. They might lack the gross-out shock value of Dying Fetus and Cannibal Corpse, but if someone asked what death metal sounds like, you could do a lot worse than hand them a copy of Upon Desolate Sands.
As usual, guitarist/vocalist Erik Ruttan's shredding skills are front-and-centre on a Hate Eternal record. His tapping on "What Lies Beyond" and "Vengeance Striketh" are the stuff of death metal dreams. Newcomer Hannes Grossman of Necrophagist fame holds up admirably on drums, managing to keep pace with some of the most punishing rhythm sections known to man. The band are in technical lockstep, even when things threaten to spin out of control on the nearly six-minute "All Hope Destroyed." It's the soundtrack to a violent street brawl, all jabs and blows that come from out of nowhere.
Death metal fans that can't get into the typewriter drumming of the OG masters, or the epic scale of the Scandinavian scene, should not let Upon Desolate Sands pass by. Like Decapitated, Hate Eternal harness the best of both worlds. It may not change your life, but it will give you something to listen to as you beat your fists bloody on a solid concrete wall. (Season of Mist)