Monday, April 12, 2010

Aeternus - Shadows Of Old (1999)

For starters, Aeternus developed a more drastic change to their sound and style while retaining the elements they are known for in previous albums, while dropping the atmospheric quality. Fans will either hate this album or love it. I personally love it because of its vast diversity molded within one album. As soon one pops in this CD, “Under The Eternal Blackened Sky” hits you right in the face with its heavy and melodic death metal sound; though one can recognize a Deicide-ish riff thrown in there, but that’s simply part of the idea behind this album. As one hits the next track a slow-paced track known as “Descent To The Underworld” compliments the aggressiveness of the first track using clean acoustic passages to link the heavy distortion. “Dark Rage”, a track that was featured in their 7″ EP (and the limited CD edition of …and so the night became…), begins with an atmospheric guitar intro then follows straight right in into the song. For those who had the 7″ EP, it might not be a surprise for them that this album would follow its death metal roots. From the title alone Shadows Of Old, this could be interpreted as using ideas found in the past and using these elements to create a new sound that no other bands have done. As one can hear in this album, they’ve managed to throw in black and death metal elements, along with doom thrash, folk and classical. I’m not saying that its a bad thing, but Aeternus has managed to fuse all these elements together and create an identity that defines them who they are. Such examples could be found on songs like “Resurrection”, whose “old school” riffing hits you unexpectedly. A guitar duo/piano piece introduces The summoning of shadows whose nonstop fury and rage continues on. “Death’s Golden” truth revealed, a more subtle track that’s not only catchy but melodic through scale progressions. “Cuchulain”, a fierce song that could be a reminiscent of a more refined European death metal band. “Prophecy Of The Elder Reign” reveals a sense of nostalgia where Aeternus have used their previous sound and made it heavier and darker (!!!) through the use of keyboards and acoustic guitars layering over it; though I have to comment on the neat Soul-like introduction . And yes, there’s an instrumental track at the very end of the album titled “The Sunset’s Glory”, which is a bagpipe solo that marks a new beginning for the band. Overall, simply a great album that I can’t deny because Aeternus has created a brand of “death metal” that is a lot better than what I’ve heard lately. Although it’s not not as great as their previous albums, it is definitely worth checking out, as this album is directed towards the death metal audience.