Sound — 10
Hindsight is a great thing. You can appreciate things so much more 9 years after they happened than you could have at the time. Take for example Hate Eternal's Conquering The Throne. Could you appreciate such an album as much as you do now, having heard the band's latest two? No, because Hate Eternal play a distinctive brand of death metal and they didn't show us how it could be played badly until 2006. Anyway, back to the album in question. What's good about this album? Didn't it help kickstart the most boring, unmusical movement in all of metaldom? OK - so it did. I have a kind of taste aversion to Brutal Death metal. My friend once at a chocolate mousse on a camping trip and ended up housing some weird parasite that made him unable to do anything but vomit blood for a few days. Now he can't eat mousse any more because his body's associated it with vomiting blood. Similarly, my ears seem to have associated Brutal Death metal with Cannibal Corpse & Devourment. But, with the help of Hate Eternal, I've found that brutal death metal, like mousse, can be great when not loaded with nauseating parasites. What we have here is unrelenting brutality that descends from above to crush your soul. While most bands simply beat you up, Hate Eternal float around some higher plane of existence and travel light years in seconds to desecrate you, your family and your friends. The riffage here is amazing, taking a healthy Morbid Angel influence and creating an evil chaotic force that would have made Trey Azagthoth weep as soon as he put out Gateways Of Annihilation and compared it to his ex-band member's efforts. And the genius that is Rutan could even find room to insert a few bone-crushing harmonies that would melt the faces of most melodeath bands - all while maintaining the same level of skullcrushing brutality.
Lyrics — 7
The only thing that could be complained about is the vocals. Rutan knows how to growl and he does it well, but by the time you get 3/4 of the way through, you're dying for a bit of variation in the vocals department. He expands on this in Hate Eternal's next offering (King Of All Kings), adding some higher pitched rasps which would have complimented this album's vocals perfectly and lifted it to a 10 score.
Overall Impression — 9
I can't imagine any real death metal fan not liking this. It's definitely not for the recently initiated and the same goes for all of Hate Eternal's catalogue, but any hardened death metalhead should fall in love with Conquering the Throne instantly, and they probably already have. If you've never heard this, hear it now. If you have heard it, remind yourself how great it is. If you don't like it, kill yourself.