With the announcement of Cannibal Corpse's 15th album, Violence Unimagined, and the new song "Inhumane Harvest" also came the news that the band's longtime producer and death metal veteran Erik Rutan had officially joined as a full-time member. In a new statement, he has confirmed this does not mean the end of Hate Eternal, the band he founded in 1997.

Rutan, who has produced five Cannibal Corpse albums, including Violence Unimagined, originally signed on as the band's live guitarist in 2019 on a fill-in basis for Pat O'Brien, who was arrested after a bizarre string of events including the intrusion of a neighbor's home while his own house was ablaze and stockpiles of ammunition were exploding inside. He was also charged with assaulting a police officer.

Beyond his seven albums under Hate Eternal and an exhaustive production résumé, Rutan enjoyed two stints in the legendary Morbid Angel, first from 1993-1996 and again from 1999-2002, playing on the Domination and Gateways to Annihilation albums. Prior to joining Morbid Angel, he was the guitarist in the influential New Jersey group Ripping Corpse, who released a handful of demos as well as a lone full-length, 1991's Dreaming With the Dead.

On Facebook, Rutan declared he was now a full-time member of the band. "I am super excited and honored and honestly it still seems a bit surreal. Cannibal Corpse has been a big part of my life and career having listened to them for over 30 years, produced five albums with them, done many many tours together and having decades of friendships with everyone involved. Anyone that knows me knows that I will give everything I have to being the best I can be with CC," he began.

Detailing his involvement on the new Cannibal Corpse record, the guitarist continued, "For the new album, Violence Unimagined, I contributed and wrote three songs of music and lyrics as well as playing guitar, producing and mixing it at Mana Recording."

He expressed pride in the new album while also looking back on his three-decade career in extreme metal, first joining Ripping Corpse at 19-years-old.

"I feel so grateful to have been and still continue to be a part of this music that I feel so passionate about and embrace," added Rutan, who reassured fans he will be able to split his time between multiple bands.

"Hate Eternal will absolutely continue on. JJ, Johnny and I look forward to recording another unrelenting Hate Eternal album in the future when the time is right," he noted. "As many people know I have always done multiple things in my career and I plan on continuing that starting with Cannibal Corpse as well as Hate Eternal, Mana Recording, producing and other musical endeavors when time allows."

Looking forward, Rutan explained, "We will have some other great HE news to share in the near future and look forward to continuing down the path I have been a part of for decades. Hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy and excited to what the future shall behold! Thank you all for your unwavering and undying support. It means the world to me."

Violence Unimagined will be released on April 16 on Metal Blade. Listen to the new song "Inhumane Harvest" here and head to this location to pre-order the album.

We also caught up with Rutan in 2018 when Hate Eternal released Desolate Sands and you can read that interview here.

Best Death Metal Album of Each Year Since 1985