Hate Eternal – Conquering The Throne

This is the first Hate Eternal album and easily the best.  Back in 1999 Erik Rutan was willing to experiment with crazy ideas such as death metal having ‘variation’ and ‘momentum’ and ‘production that doesn’t sound like it was captured in a jellyfish’s ass’.  There’s riffs that are actually memorable, the drums aren’t constant blasting (probably because Derek Roddy wasn’t in the band yet), and overall it’s a very good death metal album, if nothing to get supremely worked up over.  Of course on the very next album it all started to go horribly downhill, but at least this is a nice testament to the Hate Eternal that could have been if Erik Rutan would quit being retarded about it.

‘Conquering The Throne’ is a good album simply by virtue of not being a monotone fucking drone of blast beats and tremolo riffs throughout.  There’s actual variation and real riffs and song structures not based around constant 32nd notes by all members overlayed with random grunts.  Rutan also had the decency to keep all but one of the songs well under the four minute mark, which makes these still very fast and brutal songs much more palatable than the two minute too long monstrosities on albums like ‘I, Monarch’.  Half the time this doesn’t even sound like Hate Eternal simply because there’s so much more going on than many fans will be acquainted with based on the band’s later output.  They’re practically different bands.

The production is pretty average modern DM production but compared to the rest of Hate Eternal’s catalog it sounds like a Britney Spears album as far as clarity goes.  As opposed to ‘King Of All Kings’ and later albums’ wall of insanely distorted guitars with deeply submerged drums and dry vocals, there’s some instrumental space here and pretty much everything is given a more or less adequate level of fidelity.  It fits the music, which has riffs of some intricacy which do need the extra room to be heard correctly, and it does more justice to Tim Yeung’s playing ability to allow him to actually be heard.

In essence, this is close to being the exact opposite of everything Hate Eternal has done afterwards.  While ‘King Of All Kings’ more or less pulled off the ‘constant insane brutality’ thing without being totally stale, ‘Conquering The Throne’ is still probably the better album, since a lot of the time I like to have my music with the musicality intact.  A lot of people think that Hate Eternal is a terrible band, and I can’t entirely disagree with them, but I’d recommend they give this album a try if just to hear one good record from the band.  It’s really only amazing when compared to the rest of the band’s work, but it’s still pretty solid on its own.

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~ by noktorn on July 25, 2008.

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