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Music / Hate Eternal

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Hate Eternal is an American brutal death metal band. Characterized by their blazingly fast tempos and the unique and instantly recognizable guitar style of Erik Rutan, Hate Eternal has become a very major player in the brutal death genre, arguably having become almost as famous as Rutan's music production career.

The band was formed in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1997 by Rutan (guitar, vocals) and Tim Yeung (drums), quickly recording a promo split with the progressive metal band Alas that same year before welcoming in Jared Anderson (bass, vocals) the following year, followed by Doug Cerrito the following year. This lineup went on to record Conquering the Throne, their full-length debut, though Cerrito left almost immediately after, with Yeung quickly following. The man who replaced Yeung was none other than drummer extraordinaire Derek Roddy, creating the lineup that would record King of All Kings, which was followed by a touring blitzkrieg. Anderson, however, was forced to leave in 2003 due to worsening drug issues, with Randy Piro taking his place. I, Monarch followed in 2005, creating even more buzz and even attracting the praise of Alex Webster; Roddy, however, had grown tired of the music industry, resulting in his departure in 2006 shortly before a lengthy tour. Kevin Talley and Reno Killerich stepped up for the US and European tours, respectively.

It was then that calamity struck. Just as Rutan was about to talk to Anderson about rejoining, the latter passed away in October of 2006. Rutan, despondent, almost dissolved the band, but decided to soldier on anyways, recruiting his old Ripping Corpse bandmate Shaune Kelley (guitar, vocals) along with a young gun drummer from Quebec by the name of Jade Simonetto. This was the lineup that would record Fury and Flames, along with Alex Webster, who was drafted by Rutan as a session musician in lieu of an actual full-time bassist. Kelley left shortly after, however, though Rutan was at least able to draft Makoto Mizoguchi for live bass before eventually nabbing J.J. Hrubovcak as a full-time member. This resulted in the release of Phoenix Amongst the Ashes in 2011. Jade left in October of 2013 to focus on getting his career underway. As of October 2014, they have announced Chason Westmoreland as the new drummer, and Infernus, their fifth studio album, was released in August of 2015. As of October 2015, Chason Westmoreland has left due to family issues; Hannes Grossmann wound up filling in live, and based off of a studio photo from April 2018, he has become full-time.

In 2018, Rutan joined Cannibal Corpse as their live second guitarist after Pat O'Brien's arrest, and became an official member in 2021. While the band has ceased activities since, he has stated that they have no intention of disbanding and will return at some point in the future.


  • Engulfed in Grief / Promo '97 (split with Alas)
  • Conquering the Throne (1999)
  • King of All Kings (2002)
  • I, Monarch (2005)
  • The Perilous Fight (2006) (live DVD)
  • Fury and Flames (2008)
  • Live in London (2010) (digital-only release)
  • Phoenix Amongst the Ashes (2011)
  • Infernus (2015)
  • Upon Desolate Sands (2018)

Hate Eternal has examples of the following tropes:

  • Album Title Drop:
    • King of All Kings:
    I my communion, I reign supreme
    I am the king of all kings
    • I, Monarch:
    Therefore I must shed my skin, in a world so fabled, so false.
    I, Monarch
    Master of what shall be,
    • Phoenix Among The Ashes:
    Rise! Rise! Rise!
    Phoenix amongst the ashes
    Rise! Rise! Rise!
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Chason Westmoreland is notorious for his very physical and aggressive playing style, which makes heavy use of improvisation.
  • Ascended Extra: Hannes Grossmann had been friends with Erik for some time before he joined, as Hate Eternal had previously toured with Obscura in the late 2000s, and when Chason left, Erik had him at the top of his list of people to contact for what started out as a live session position while he figured things out before he eventually became a full member. After he quietly left at some point around the end of the decade for Triptykon (having not toured with Hate Eternal since 2016), John Longstreth took his spot after handling the touring for 2018 onward.
  • Brutal Death Metal: An example that skits the fine line between this and old school.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Drug use played a big role in Anderson's death.
  • Epic Rocking: "Infernus" (6:27).
  • Grief Song: "Tombeau (Le Tombeau de la Fureur et Des Flammes)" was one for Anderson, and Fury and Flames had overtones of this as a whole.
  • Harsh Vocals: Erik Rutan uses a throaty bellow that is somewhat similar to Steve Tuckers's vocals circa Formulas Fatal to the Flesh, just with a more roar-like character. The backing vocalists, meanwhile, have always used higher-pitched shrieks.
  • I Am the Band: Erik Rutan.
  • Instrumentals: "Faceless One", "Chaos Theory", and "For Whom We Have Lost".
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Shaune Kelley had played with Rutan in Ripping Corpse a long while back and had carried that band on after its demise as Dim Mak, so he was still devoted to death metal, and he was also still good friends with Rutan. The only reason that he didn't stay is because he realized that he really hated touring.
  • Lead Bassist: Most have been Type B examples (and Type A by extent due to the complexity of the arrangements), though Anderson was also a Type C due to his untimely demise and the effect it had on Rutan.
  • Lead Drummer: Derek Roddy is, along with Pete Sandoval, Mike Smith, George Kollias, John Longstreth, and Flo Mounier, one of THE biggest names in death metal drumming as a whole. Ask a death metal drummer what their primary influences are and chances are very good that they'll mention Roddy's name. Hannes Grossmann, meanwhile, was famous for similar reasons well before he ever joined Hate Eternal, and John Longstreth's reputation spoke for itself long before he joined.
  • Loudness War: Noticeable on every album, ESPECIALLY Fury and Flames, which got a ton of flak for its incredibly muddy and indecipherable production. Come to think of it, pretty much every album produced by Rutan is going to have issues with this.
  • Metal Scream: Erik Rutan is a type 2 with shades of a type 1, their backing vocalists (with the exception of Shaune Kelley) have all been type 3.
  • New Sound Album: I, Monarch had far denser, more complex arrangements with noticeable tribal elements.
  • Older Than They Look: Jade Simonetto is 39. If you had to guess his age, you would undershoot by at least ten or twelve years, as he still looks as if he's in his late teens or early twenties.
  • One-Woman Wail: Featured in "Coronach" and "Upon Desolate Sands".
  • Revolving Door Band: Rutan's gone through a LOT of bassists in his time.
  • Rock Trio: Since 2008, when Shaune Kelley quit.
  • Signature Style: Exceedingly fast, blast-heavy material with occasional atmospheric overtones in the leads and heavy use of octave chords to create a form of otherworldly dissonance. Also expect a few slower-paced Morbid Angel-esque tracks here and there. Erik Rutan also has an easily recognizable lead style that makes heavy use of Middle Eastern scales, lengthy sustained vibrato in lieu of shred passages, occasional quick bursts of rapid-fire alternative picking, and an extremely distinctive tone that virtually anyone who has listened to a decent amount of death metal will be able to pick out pretty much instantly.
  • Special Guest: This was essentially what Alex Webster was on Fury and Flames. Rutan also does this from time to time, usually laying down a guitar solo for a band he's producing.
  • Start My Own: Rutan started the band sometime after his first departure from Morbid Angel.
    • Eric Hersemann did the same with Gigan after his brief run in Hate Eternal.
  • Technical Death Metal: Not a full-fledged example, but certainly has shades of this.
  • Teen Genius: Chason Westmoreland was good enough as a teenager (back when he was in Burning the Masses) to attract attention from both the bands that he was touring with and Erik Rutan himself; the latter discovered him when a member of another band that was on a touring bill with Burning the Masses told Rutan to watch him in action. Rutan was impressed enough by his performance that he placed him at the top of the list of drummers to contact when Jade left in 2013.
  • Training from Hell: Chason Westmoreland underwent this as part of his induction and as prep for the Infernus recording sessions. As per Chason, Erik had him do two particularly difficult things to build up his speed and stamina: he had him practice to a click track that would speed up every thirty seconds that started at 210BPM and went up to 300, and he also had Chason (as well as the rest of the band) record all of Infernus every day for four days in a row. The second one was what really killed Chason, and by his own recollection, there was one particular day when he just could not do "La Tempestad" and Erik realized as much, and told Chason that he knew he had reached his limit for the day and should rest and relax for the rest of the day. Part of it was likely due to Erik's refusal to quantize and desire to do as little editing as possible so he could keep most, if not all of the raw takes intact, as Infernus was not a heavily produced album.
  • Uncommon Time: Frequently.