3rd May 2011, Review by Matt Wylde
Erik Rutan; a big guy anyway, looks more menacing than ever as he growls his hello to the crowd and pushes his band, completed by JJ Hrubovcak and Jade Simonetto, into their opener, The Eternal Ruler, only to have their sound hardly reach the back of the small venue.
Technical difficulties did ensue throughout most of their set, but thankfully the volume issue got sorted soon enough, and they blasted (the operative word) through classics such as Behold Judas and I, Monarch with full force.
For one thing, the musicianship was top notch. It always has been, it always will be.
Rutan created and mastered his “wall of sound” solo effect to great appreciation, his pedal work helping him sound wide and clear throughout the entire set.
His voice, if anything, was more impressive than on record, and was backed up by JJ’s harsher backing vocals, each complementing the other distinctly.
The man of the match on the playing side of things, however, was Simonetto. Struggling all evening with his kick triggers and drum placement, he provided a clinic in blasts and energy, truly a sight to behold.
The new songs from HE’s latest offering, Phoenix Amongst the Ashes, went down as well as could be expected. Those in attendance who may’ve not been overly familiar with Hate Eternal’s bludgeoning set might have thought that the new was indecipherable twixt the old, but seeing as how this was a pure death metal gig for pure death metal fans, what non-enthusiasts were present would’ve been converted either way.
Highlights of the evening were most certainly the classics, Catacombs, Bringer of Storms et al, but mostly just the general energy and passion HE brought to London that night. Not a bad note was played, and the sheer brutality of it all still gives me orgasmic nightmares.
Despite the problems with sound and the small attendance, Florida’s hardest hitting band delivered a solid, worthy performance. It wasn’t spectacular, it wasn’t fancy, it was death metal, and it was killer!