HATE ETERNAL LIVE: MIGHTA BEEN HEATSTROKE, PROLLY JUST WAS RUTAN
By the time Hate Eternal took the stage on a hot Saturday night early this month, I was gonna barf and pass out. My day had been spent at sea, teetering and bobbing aboard an overloaded and hot-rodded pontoon boat. The captain: a winner brah of mine; the craft: a two-tiered party tub with bar, arena-sized bank of speakers, and water slide (!), like something out of Caddyshack if Al Czervik were a Volcom rep. Fun!
And though dude is my super-brah, I dispute his shipboard music policy, which can be described as inescapable dance music at levels meant to blast the clothes off sluts. Add a merciless sun, the actual sluts, and drugs? Bam, you’re woozy as fuck.
After eight hours of that, I wobbled my way off the boat and to the show. I kept telling myself, “Hate Eternal rules. If you wimp out, you’ll regret it.” It was hot as ballz in the venue, natch, and throughout Vital Remains’ set I felt like I was still on a boat. Maybe it was the sound mixing, but I had to keep my eyes on the drummer in order to find the song’s groove. I’d have much rather zeroed in on their complicated guitars.
After Vital Remains (so good), I staked out a wall space and set about reorienting myself to land. Origin guitarist Paul Ryan sashayed by, beyond him Hate Eternal stud Erik Rutan unwound cables and nodded along to Pantera jamz in the monitors. I quietly vomited under a row of unoccupied seats and mopped my brow like a Southern congressman. I was hanging in.
Then it was Hate Eternal. It’s unbelievable but Rutan and bassist JJ Hrubovcak were wearing black pants. Might’ve been denim! (Rutan to sound guy: “I’m sweating my nuts off, Anthony.”) I felt hot by suggestion and nude by comparison and I really considered nagging them to get some shorts on and drink lotsa water. Also I was seeing two of everything at this point.
Hate Eternal as a three-piece is awesome. Rutan’s solos have this altitude and you can hear his vocals. He has great chemistry with his new guyz; they groove a bit and their hypnotic stuff is underrated, but as cool as Enslaved or Nile basically. There was a stretch, according to my increasingly messy notes, where they slammed through “Haunting Abound,” “Phoenix Amongst The Ashes,” and “Tombeau.” I think “Art of Redemption” was in there, too, but who can really say at this point.
They closed with two title tracks (I, Monarch then King Of All Kings), but I kept thinking I was hearing random gunshots. Of course, I figured out after the set that it was big summer fireworks outside, duh. Origin was to play next, but that was beyond me. I paid a friendly squirrel to guard my car and took a taxi home. The end.