King of All Kings
Just prior to the release of this, vocalist/guitarist Erik Rutan and bassist Jared Anderson announced their split from Morbid Angel to focus full-time on Hate Eternal. Good decision. While Morbid Angel has been treading water for the last few years, Hate Eternal’s 1999 debut, Conquering The Throne was a vital and rejuvenating effort, and this new one sees the band taking things to the next level, exploring hitherto unknown grinding territory. King of All Kings is brutal and volatile, surely one of the most insane grind/death albums ever, a wildly inventive effort from some of the prime players on the current metal scene.
Rutan’s sick guitar playing never sounded better — check out the truly evil rhythm on “The Obscure Terror” for evidence, or the extreme power riffing on “Chants Of Declaration.” Madness. His singing is brilliant as well, moving effortlessly from a cruel growl to wicked screams and back again. The rest of the band, of course, is technically super proficient as well, their playing as challenging as it is inventive, always set on pushing the songs to the forefront, to bring out the evil nature of the material — try the nauseatingly heavy “Powers That Be” or the crushing “Born By Fire.” Dark and unpolished, this is raw and brutal metal being unleashed on the poor listener in short bursts of frenetic grind. Ten songs in half an hour. Splendid. Just cruel, grinding, galloping and fiery music, really. Amazing.
Earache Records: http://www.earache.com