Hate Eternal

With Cannibal Corpse, Macabre, and Deeds of Flesh. Sunday, November 17, at the Agora.

Hate Eternal's second album, King of Kings, has no proper melodies to speak of, boasts drum tempos three times faster than the per-minute tally averaged by the human heart, and will get you thrown out of the house if you're under 18 -- guaranteed. It comes housed in a sleeve with a painting of a scary-looking ebony totem rising from a lake of fire. Nice. It clocks in at just under 34 minutes, and in that brief space it is exhausting, terrifying, overpowering, and occasionally transcendent.

Indeed, one doesn't hear Hate Eternal so much as submit to the band, as it charges through the speakers like something out of an unrated version of Jumanji. By the time you get to the seventh song on Kings, "Chants in Declaration," you must already have been converted or you'd have long since run screaming from the house. The incomprehensible chants to which the song's title refers are so chilling that one feels certain Armageddon is near. The guitars alternately wail like lost souls or growl like tank engines. If this doesn't sound like your thing, rest assured that it isn't. But if you're curious about what death metal is, this is the place to start.