Thursday, 14 April 2016

Eternal Lord "Split With Azriel" (2006)

Having written about Eternal Lord's self titled debut, I was reminded of their follow up split record with English Metalcore outfit "Azriel", released the same year. Foolishly I never gave it much of a listen at the time and for this blog we are going to focus on the two of four songs this band contributed to the record. Its a step up in production fidelity and a few things become apparent quickly. Vocalist Rickett sounds far deeper, lower, looser in delivery but with the same tonal distinctions. The group also incorporate symphonic sounds, piano and strings, into their second track, much in the vein of Symphonic Black Metal. Very reminiscent of what Abigail Williams would do in the years to come, however the metallic instruments remained rooted in their Metalcore origins.

"Destiny" is the first of two and wouldn't sound out of place on their debut. The productions fidelity removes the organic, sludgy feel they once had and showcases the technical prowess of the riffing. For this it shows its Metalcore side more and when the breakdown hits it sounds far more generic without the sludgy, looser production to give it charm. On the flip side the tighter sound gives the guitars more room to express themselves and the drums blitz away through a clicky ecstasy.

"The Harp And Hellfire" is the ambitious track. Its piano led symphonic intro and light use of strings work well with the momentous nature of the opening riffs. Surprisingly the sounds mix, however the dark symphony is at first paired with drawn out power chords and a tremolo riff accompanied by blast beats. Very akin to Black Metal but swiftly the song finds its break back to the Metalcore vein. Another reasonable breakdown is followed unexpectedly a guitar solo with light strings. The song then reaches a climax with a groove, repeating over and over, steadily fading out to let a matching symphony overtake and see off the record.

This transition is an interesting one as the band effortlessly incorporated a different sound without compromising their own. However on closer examination the shifts between styles are rigid and obvious, yet it feels completely organic in the moment. This may have been their calling but unfortunately this period was short lived with a big stylistic shift in their 2007 demo.

Favorite Song: The Harp And Hellfire
Rating: 4/10