Hate Eternal - Official Website

Phoenix Amongst The Ashes

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. Rebirth
2. The Eternal Ruler
3. Thorns Of Acacia
4. Haunting Abound
5. The Art Of Redemption
6. Phoenix Amongst The Ashes
7. Deathveil
8. Hatesworn
9. Lake Ablaze
10. The Fire Of Resurrection

Review by Faithless on December 22, 2021.

Back in 1995, Eric Rutan was a member of Morbid Angel as a guitar player in the album "Domination" as well as in the live record "Entangled In Chaos" (he also toured with MA around the globe for a couple of years). I believe that Rutan significantly complemented Azagthoth and the band and perhaps embodied one of the best guitar death metal tandems during the mid-'90s. I consider that "Domination" is the MA record with the finest guitar riffs and solos. The guitars in
"Domination" sounded beefier and chunkier than ever, a fact that elevated Rutan into the Olympus of death metal guitar heroes. In this regard, Eric's guitar skills have been kind of underrated in the death metal scene for many years (No secret he’s a hell of a producer and sound engineer). However, the fact that he created Hate Eternal not just as a side project but as a reference in modern death metal for his otherworldly talent to create the sickest riffs and solos in the business, this is no joke band.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes here it comes Hate Eternal once again after their not very successful album Fury & Flames. In this opportunity, Hate Eternal presents Phoenix Amongst The Ashes, which in my opinion is their best effort so far. Classic albums like Conquering The Throne and King Of All Kings paved the road for an incredible and almost perfect discography. Nonetheless, Phoenix Amongst The Ashes is a declaration of principles and a brutal testimony of how death metal should be done. Released in 2011 but the record still sounds fresh, up to date, and according to the death metal standards, I think it goes even beyond the typical meat and potatoes collection of songs.

Run the mill death metal records sound uninspired, lifeless and most of the time they try desperately to impersonate old-school bands and copy-cat their songwriting and style. It is evident that Hate Eternal did not invent or re-invented the wheel nor is trying to copy Morbid Angel as some like to say, just listen to any of their records to disregard that weak argument. In the case of Phoenix Amongst The Ashes, the death metal you will find here is ferocious yet technical and well put together in terms of songwriting and production. One of the most well-known cliches in death metal is to have identical and almost alike song structures, tracks do not differ much from one another in most bands. This is also problematic for the production because the record seems flat and lacks variety. The canvass in which Hate Eternal depicts their drum fills, riffs, bass lines, and vocals are diverse, and each song has its own identity. For instance, 'Hatesworn' begins with a catchy guitar hook and then little by little starts to lead into a tune full of aggressive melodies and chords. 'The Art Of Redemption' is perhaps the most interesting song in the album due to the dissonant guitars at the beginning almost zig-zagging and angular. Then, just unmatched brutality with endless blasts and a mix of low and high screams. The self-titled track has the sickest solo on the record. The last song called 'The Fire Of Resurrection' ends the compendium of songs in such an ominous and solemn way. The drums in this song have a militaristic feeling and the fact that it is a slow tempo track makes it feel reverential, extremely ad hoc to the theme of the album. A separate chapter in Phoenix Amongst The Ashes is the exhibition of top-notch guitar riffs and melodies. The ability of Rutan to create hooks is amazing, you will not get bored listening to this album, there are riffs for days!

Altogether, Phoenix Amongst The Ashes is in my opinion the best and most complete record in Hate Eternal's discography because of the exceptional songwriting and production values. The band as a whole sounds tightly and well oiled, the song structure is cohesive and diverse. Nevertheless, the focal point is Rutan’s guitar riffing and solos, this guy is nowadays one of the top ten most outstanding guitar players in the scene. I highly recommend forming your own opinions, listen to this record yourself but for me, this record is easily in my top 10 favorite death metal albums of all time.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10