By Dr. Abner Mality

Listening to Hate Eternal is like taking a shower with napalm instead of water . And then rubbing yourself down with sandpaper. It’s an exhausting torture test that puts your tolerance of high speed blasting death metal to its limit. And that’s the intention. Past Hate Eternal albums have gotten somewhat mixed marks from me. After a four year layoff, “Infernus” is their latest salvo of musical hellfire. How does it fare?

Well, they sure haven’t eased up on the throttle. “Locust Swarm” lives up to its name…a buzzing, blast cacophony of ultra-high speed death metal, like Morbid Angel with its foot on the gas. Have we got a whole album of this ahead? “The Stygian Deep” suggests we might, because its more relentless brutality only longer. The precision of Hate Eternal has not changed and neither has their desire to kill. In fact, when we reach “La Tempestad”, we get the feeling the first couple of tracks were just a warm-up because this song is so cyclonic, so utterly speed-oriented that it almost achieves a transcendantal grace.

A whole album of this would have been unendurable. But after the apex of “La Tempestad”, the band begans to pull back. The title track may very well be the SLOWEST Hate Eternal song, a very baroque mid-paced crush even more reminiscent of some of the more majestic Morbid Angel. This is a very necessary breather. It’s kind of a turning point for the album. “The Chosen One” races by in a blur, but the following songs all show more structure and willingness to change tempos. “Zealot, Crusader of War” and “O Majestic Being, Hear My Call” are more composed and baroque but still brutal “Chaos Theory” is a rather progressive and dissonant instrumental.

The album is still an endurance test, but not the complete blast overkill it could have been. There’s songwriting going on here. Hate Eternal is still an acquired taste but if you prefer death metal with blazing fury, it has its appeal.