I've been looking forward to the day Id talk about this short five track EP since I first started this blog! Eternal Lord are a short lived English Deathcore band who dropped this self titled in the prime of the scenes uprising. Its a real gem, one that never gets old for me and unfortunately rapid line up changes and shifts in sound meant they would never revisit the unusual breed of metal they conjured up in the twenty minutes the record lasts. The band would release a split record with Azirel in a similar vein but their first full length left much to be desired and so led to the band splitting in 2009.
The record opens up with "Upon Thy Icy Waves" and its Deathcore style isn't immediately apparent. Sludgy, slightly dissonant guitars chug and churn under a rattling drum kit and in the chords a strange tinge of harmony protrudes. As the song progresses through a drum solo into its first phase the snarling throaty screams drop in with a covering range of texture, raspy and loose. Under them the guitars hammer out atypical Metalcore riffs, melodies spliced between muted open strings, yet despite the similar technique a distinct and unique sound is very apparent. It progresses through the motions and ends with some bright a colorful leads to climax the song.
At many intervals in these songs the band tread into the breakdown territory with sometimes bold and obvious approaches, letting the steady china cymbal bridge the space between the occasionally chugged guitars and the beastly vocal growls. In other moments the band have the sensibility to hold back the obvious nature of the breakdown and simply remove a few elements from the currently played guitar riff and amplify the groove on the drum kit. Its fantastic, giving constant refreshment of head banging energy to the flow of these songs which never let up on intensity.
In an untypical fashion for the genre, the band sounds somewhat mystic and a little drawn to some of the grander epic themes found in majestic Black Metal. Its a very indirect subtlety but the guitars have a darker charm to them and vocalist Rickett through his slack and gruff delivery enhances a nature vibe with animistic and beastly vocals that sound like a fantasy creature of the night. The song titles would also indicate these themes may have been an intention, rather than something I've found for myself, however some tremolo riffs wouldn't sound out of place on a Black Metal record.
Aesthetically the production is a touch raw and blunt within reason. The drums batter and clatter away with a cutting intensity in the mix, the pedals have a rather clicking presence. The cymbals have a rather stark and crashing existence in the mix. Along with the loud and "in the front" mixing of the vocals the bass gets a little lost behind the guitars with their own serpentine texture, often enhanced by the syncopation with the pedals. All five tracks are distinct and firing on all cylinders with no weak spots, maybe room for preference or favoritism. Its been around ten years and it still sounds fantastic. A very overlooked record that I think particular types of Metalheads would get a real kick from. I'm kicking myself though as I never got to see them perform live.
Favorite Songs: Fields And Failure, Deeds To The Throne