Disciples Of The Unseen
posted on 3/2010 By:
I’m always a bit leery when I see Nile thrown around as reference for a new band. Because essentially, Nile have the whole Egyptian theme covered pretty well, and I’m not sure we really need another band copying such a unique take on metal. It's a blatant rip off (as The Monolith Deathcult learned).
So here is Quebec’s Aeternam providing an even more geographically strange take on Middle Eastern/Egyptian metal (though vocalist/guitarist Achraf Loudiy is of Moroccan descent), and while most will tout Nile as an influence, it's only due to the presence of those elements (chants, ethnic instrumentation and Middle Eastern structures/riffs) and elements, as stylistically, Aeternam is more of a melodic death metal band.
Actually, Aeternam also have more in common with Orphaned Land’s heavier moments or even an Arabic Amon Amarth more than Nile, as there are no vortexes of chaotic brutality, just a measured sense of up tempo, crunchy death metal flocked with all the epic dressings of the Middle East instead of Vikings.
The end result is a pretty solid and very well produced album, and while the band does step into some expected unavoidable Nile-isms here and there, when they do some slightly forced blasting (start of opener “Angel Horned,” “Hamunaptra” parts of “Goddess of Masr” as well as interludes “Ars Almadel” and “Iteru”) but there are enough moments of the band's own character to keep them a little more distant. The more restrained, melodic tracks that use epic synths, some clean vocals and choirs enhance the distance as the likes of “Esoteric Formulae,” “Goddess of Masr,” “Ouroborous,” “Circle in Flames” and “The Coronation of Seth,” which utilizes Loudiy’s suitably ethnic sounding clean vocals perfectly amid the competently executed melodic death metal.
6 minute Closer “Through the Eyes of Ea” mixes both the band's blistering Nile tones and a more thrashy pace (not surprising since Loudiy used to be in a thrash band called Imperium) and clean vocals, for a nice little bookend that basically encapsulates the album. Yeah, so what I’m basically trying to say here is that Aeternam sounds a little like Nile but they don’t. Got it?
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