Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Aeternum - Through Death We Ascend

Self Released 2012

1.Beyond The Valley 2.As The Last Kingdom Burns 3.Non Serviam
4.Sons Of The Fading Dusk
5.The Lightbearer 6.Invocation

Mournful and atmospheric keyboards introduce us to London extreme metallers Aeternum with intro track ‘Beyond The Valley’. A tried and tested way to introduce a demo/e.p./album etc., it is what it is, a short keyboard intro, sets a nice tone for the first real track, ‘As The Last Kingdom Burns’ which is a barrage of brutal blackened death metal, blast beats are plentiful, dual screamed and growled vocals used often and to great effect. Tempos are varied throughout, switching from the hellish blast sections into slower, more morbid sounding parts. There is a very heavy dose of ‘Watain’ to the band’s sound, mixed with a more old school feel, if more references were needed then think Necrophobic and you won’t be far off the mark. ‘Non Serviam’ follows on in similar fashion, albeit with a slightly more black metal feel, the guitar work tending to be higher up the fret board. Again, tempos are varied and acoustic guitars are introduced which add variety and set a different tone. There’s a real catchiness starting to creep into the bands song writing now and the ‘Watain’ influence becomes a lot stronger, but the band are no mere rip-offs, their songs are definitely their own, and what great songs they are! ‘Sons Of The Fading Dusk’ see’s the band delving even deeper into black metal territory, the high pitched screamed vocals taking the lead, being backed up now and again by the deeper growled vocals. The blast sections seen in the opening track have all but disappeared, the band preferring to sit in a ‘mid-paced’ territory which actually seems to suit them better, the atmosphere of the guitar riffs leading the song rather than speed ‘doing the talking’. Acoustic guitars again introduced and again adding to the deep and brooding atmosphere already created, great stuff.
‘The Light Bearer’ begins life as pure ‘Dissection worship’ before we are once again greeted by a frenzy of what can probably be described as atmospheric black/death metal, with the emphasis being placed heavily on black metal and atmospheric! Finishing things off is ‘Invocation’, a much more melodic track compared to the previous two or three offerings. If any more comparisons were needed, there are hints of ‘Thus Defiled’, especially vocally when the high pitched screams are in a full, throat shredding assault. On this final track the band have opted to incorporate all their influences, tempos, arrangements etc., everything seen in the previous five tracks fully incorporated into this closing song, and it all pulls together extremely well, the band sounding utterly punishing, devastating and becoming epic in sound, a great way to end what is a great e.p.  For a debut recording, this is an extremely well played, professional and sometimes breath taking assault, real passion on display from a band that have developed a sound which will appeal to many. There’s obviously been a lot of hard work done in the practice room and it has all definitely paid off. Brutal, atmospheric and compelling blackened death metal, all executed with a real passion. Be very interesting to see where the band go from here, because judging by this performance, it shouldn’t be too long before someone sits up and takes note of the band….highly recommended

8 out of 10

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