REVIEW: ETERNITY’S END – “Embers Of War”
It’s hard for a band to keep good quality when they have such a sequence of great albums in their belt, let alone when you surpass all expectations and provide a fresh breath of air in the scene. But looking at Hannes Grossmann and Christian Münzner playing, I guess the word “hard” is not known to them. Here they are again with Eternity’s End third endeavor through the galaxies, ‘Embers of War’, and the way things are by the time they release their fourth album I’ll be out of praises and positive adjectives to throw at them.
If you’re familiar with the group, you already know that things here are fast-paced, crazy, and thrashy power metal with a lot of neoclassical elements. By now it’s not a blasphemy to say that, as a power metal band with deep roots in technical death metal, we can trace a parallel between Eternity’s End and Chuck Schuldiner’s Control Denied in terms of musicianship and translating aggressiveness and a more raw way of playing for a power metal act.
Allied to that is, of course, brilliant speed/power anthems that will make you want to destroy every sentient robotic race that may exist in the known universe. “The Hounds of Tindalos” for instance, is a thunderous blast of riffs only Münzner is capable of and high-pitched glory moments from Iuri Sanson’s throat of steel, but without sounding cheesy or bland as many power metal bands do.
Heavy and neoclassical moments, as aforementioned, are very much present as well and bring some diversity at the right spots. “Call of the Valkyries”, for instance, clearly illustrates that with the beginning sounding a lot like Rob Halford’s “Resurrection” with the middle portion having a marvelous change of pace with some Stratovarius-esque neoclassical playing.
While there is no Mike Lepond to add flair and that proggy proficiency only a member of Symphony X or John Myung could deliver, the return of the awesome Linus Klausenitzer to bass duties was the right choice and he proves it every minute of the record; especially so, in “Arcturus Prime” he delivers a melt-facing quick bass solo and masterfully grooves his way through “Shaded Heart”, another highlight moment in the album which shows the prog-metal side of the band in an atmosphere that brings memories of DGM, Symphony X, and Threshold. “Arcturus Prime”, for that matter, is my choice for the best song here due to its non-stop mauling and a stupendous chorus that reminisces the best days of “space power metal” like Iron Savior and Lost Horizon mastered.
“Deathrider”, a no-frills speed sensation that goes full-throttle on the gas and the epic, atmospheric closer “Embers of War” are the icings on the cake of yet another display of how good these guys are playing metal, whether it’s technical death, speed, power or whatever the hell they set their minds to. This album has everything a power metal fan aches for energy, speed, melody, screams, and guitar mastery, all wrapped in a bombastic package that actually breaks the subgenre barrier and is set to turn heads in the metal community as a whole, be it a dungeons & dragons melodic metal lover or a gore-thirsting, brutal death lover bada*s.
I started my review by mentioning that it’s hard for a band to maintain such a high level in terms of musicality, but Eternity’s End seem to have no limits. From their debut in 2016 to this wonder of an album, these monsters have been dropping jaws and consolidating a name for themselves in power metal with intelligent songwriting, brutal instrumental, and one hell of an attitude. ‘Embers of War’ was made by guys who love metal to every metal fan out there, and it shows in every note. Easily one of the best power metal albums of the year, and arguably the greatest so far.