20 Watts


The State of the Metal Scene: Decrepit Birth and Hate Eternal by 20watts
March 3, 2008, 11:52 pm
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**Editor’s Note: Liam’s column on the metal scene will run every other week.

For my first column here on the 20 Watts Blog, I thought it would be appropriate to feature two new br00tal death metal albums that indie kids will absolutely hate.

The first is Decrepit Birth’s Diminishing Between Worlds. The Santa Cruz quintet made their name in nerd and meathead metal circles with 2003’s …And Time Begins. The geeks liked it because the musicianship was incredible. The thugs liked it because it was really, really heavy.

Lineup problems held them back for the next few years. Drummer Tim “The Human Missle” Yeung quit to put his godly skills to use with Vital Remains and, coincidentally, Hate Eternal. He also found the time to win the 2006 World’s Fastest Drummer competition in the feet category. Other members were arrested (and should never be released).

Finally, with the help of three-fifths of Odious Mortem’s lineup, Dimishing Between Worlds was released in January. This one might turn off some fans. The narrow-minded brutality is gone, replaced by a more Death- and Cynic-influenced progressive streak and a wee bit of melody (if wailing guitar leads count as melodic). It’s still inhumanly fast, but you can listen for more than 10 minutes without reaching for ibuprofen.

On the other hand, Hate Eternal are still as migraine-inducing as ever. Fury and Flames is dedicated to group founder and bassist Jared Anderson, who passed away in 2006.

On top of Hate Eternal’s typical gatling-gun drums, monstrous growling and caustic riffing, mainman Erik Rutan (former Morbid Angel guitarist and the guy who produced every metal album released in the past year) shreds and screams like a werewolf with rabies (and an opposable thumb).

That visceral emotion is usually missing from super-fast death metal. It makes Fury and Flames stand way out from the rest of the blast-pack and definitely from Hate Eternal’s one-dimensional back catalogue.

Indie-kid accessibility rating: 1 out of 5

– Liam

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