Sunday, April 22, 2012
Eternal Helcraxe-Against All Odds
Normally black metal wouldn't be such a treat for me, but there are so many albums and bands revealing themselves that it's almost impossible not get caught in one's web and whip up a review for it. 2012 has already offered a wide range of black metal albums to those who enjoy the chaotic genre, and even between some of these releases there's come differentiation and contrast, if not all of them. Irish black metal outfit Eternal Helcraxe are one of the bands who adopt folk elements into their music as well as pagan elements and the resultant is a more melodic, epic and moody black metal album that is simply orchestrated very well. With pianos and synthesizer constantly emerging and diving henceforth into the album during its more epic momenents, ''Against All Odds'' makes a peculiar listen, nonetheless still enjoyable.
Traditional black metal elements are obviously very dominant over the music here, but I can't help but notice that the music is more polished and excessible than some other releases, and in addition to that the album attains a crisp clean tone for the most part, rendering it sharp and fresh. Sure, there are very chaotic and intense moments where the two guitars merge and collide, but the vague yet surprisingly common appearence of pianos and synthsizers polish the album and turn it into a gleeming specimen, filled with melody and comprehensible diversity. The fact that the album teems with refreshing moments and productivity is a huge bonus, because many bands these days fail terribly on that subject. The main feeling present on this album is a mix between glory and misery. The epic moments rise when the chaotic guitar riffage appear and when the vocals shreik, when the drummer puts the pedal to the metal, but as the moment of courage and glory slowly fades, the riffs monotonously escalate and gradually take softer forms, such as beautiful acoustic medleys and sorrow-laden passages. Don't get your hopes down just because the album has plenty of melodic moments, though. Tracks like ''Shadow Of The Wolf'' and ''As The Snow Gathers'' have plenty of speed and aggression to them, attaining full speed tremolo bursts and drum battering with ease.
The one flaw that really ticked me off was the clean singing. They aren't used frequently, and I'm truely glad about that, because they were terrible, despite their vague obscurity. The album has its moments where the artificial (or should I say synthesizers) instruments take over what is left of a song and finish it off with a beautiful classical music sequence. Eternal Helcraxe have set their bar high with this release, and I'm pleased with what I heard. The musicianship is there, the atmopshere innevitable, the folk/pagan elements bring diversity to the music, the extra instrumentation gives melody and feeling, and thus if it weren't for these additional elements flourishing the album, ''Against All Odds'' would not have been what it is now.
One Stands Still Here
Echoes Through Our Blood
AS The Snow Gathers