Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Aeternus : "...And the Seventh his Soul Detesteth"

While this Norweigan band has been around since 1993 this is only the their 7th full length. This is not to say Main man Ares doesn't stay busy with his craft as he has been a session/touring player for bands like Taake, Gorgorothand Immortal. Bands sound often falls closer to them being categorized as death metal rather than black metal to which he has been more closely associated with. One thing is for sure he has finely honed his art. This album sounds great and their are a lot of different elements that are carefully assembled to make this monster.

The drumming hit me from the first song, if this Phobos guy isn't playing with trigger his feet are insane. Even at their faster speeds there's an element of groove and finesse . In the same neighborhood as Behemoth but with have the cheese, though some of the pitch harmonics add a little in the same way they do for Morbid Angel, but for some reason the delivery here strikes me as sounding less dated. I think the black metal elements help with this.

The groove that leads into the title track is pretty biting and the solo thats cascades against the perverse riff feels a little like Dissection, who by some Cvlt definitions might not be black metal either, but I'm able to turn of my blackonomicon for the duration and let it just be good metal. It is most importantly for me dark enough for me not to worry if it's black metal or not. It's a good solid listen all the way through but I noticed when placed under the microscope to break it down song by song, they do tend to run into another and the first three could be one long song."Spurcitias" the guitars chug less and caress the drums like a velvet rape. The cadanc elf his growl also shifts from being quite to stacatto and flows over the guitars which do take a noticeable know in the direction of Domination Era Morbid Angel when they are slowed and when they pick out the chords more melodically Dissection. The break down at the end of "Spurcitias" is really cool has a tribal vibe like something from a Rotting Christ album.

The fact that Morbid Angel no longer sounds like Morbid Angel, some how makes it alright when these guys do particularly since they tend to sound more like post-Blessed are the Sick Morbid Angel when the comparisons are drawn and era not many other bands influence pay homage to .

I am a big fan of the immortal like croaked vocals that first float o the surface on "Ruin and Ressurrect" they sound almost like a Gullom croon. They make other appearences like the more narrative form at the beginning of "The Confusion of Tongues" the growls for the most part are in the lower more death metal David Bincent ranges, though a more old growl that his which are more barked,these are growled making the lyrics sometimes murky especially when he drops even lower into the more gurgle side of his register. The lyrics for the most part they sound overly esoteric more like Therion than Dissection and in some cases seem like they are gnostic bible stories.

The thunder their drummer rains down makes a big impression at first then midway through the album you tend to take him for granted despite his attention to detail when it comes to accents. He can hold down a solid groove and use his double pedals to bring it up a notch for them to travel into the next realm of heavy. By the time they get to "Reap What You Saw" the heaviness does become a blur of low tuned chugs and some of the riffs those their dynamic range as theta reall variation on the same field of heavy, so grooves are what holds it together along with the more soaring melodic passages which are more often than not soloed over. The last minute and a half tends to be the section of a few of these songs where the band congeals everything for giving it one last blast.

"Saligia" has an almost rock feel to the verse, though utilizes speed in other sections to keep fans from crying sell out, sometimes this faster pace which is still slower than most black metal build a blur of momentum that carries you way with it but keeps you from making any differentiation the song. Saligia does have a dramatically melodic part in the middle that reminds me of Metallica and the part in the middle of the song master of puppets. The songs congeals for a minute into a victorious gallop before it descends into the dark waters of the death metal sea.

"The Hand that Severs the Bonds of Creation" kinds heads into a "What if immortal was death metal" place. It has more of the gallop feel, with syncopated punches littered throughout, by the point the momentum of their assault has been numbed and it loses some of its blackness the result being the result of most death metal, it all begins to sound the same. The more melodic sections which are darker and more black metal are the only things that separate the songs.
The closing song "Spirit of Illumination" doesn't skimp on the speed at first slowing on the chorus to give it a heavy accent, but even here the chords are picked out in the Dissection manner we have already heard before so all seems like its being revisited

These guys get credit as they are more death metal than not I think it's the Dissection influence that keeps me interested as most death metal is boring do to its lack of sonic mbiance which black metal uses to create a heavier and more hypnotic mood than sounding like guys with guitars who sit around sniffing glue. The album is holy proficient at what it delivers and very well played and produced, all the sounds fall in just the right place and are crisp wi out forsaking the heaviness. I'll give this one an 8.5, as it's masterfully constructed and while the influences aren't hidden they are a combination of two bands I really like so it works out well for me. It is possible for this to wear on me either way depending on if the more death metal elements tire me out or not.

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