As Of Yet Unknown
posted on 5/2010 By:
Very few metal styles could use a good shot in the arm quite like Dissectionian melodic black metal. Only Naglfar really came close to giving the genre a second major flag-bearer, but their best attempts are now years old. Enter Virginia’s Ecliptic, who make as honest an attempt as most, but ultimately fall short of offering anything either particularly unique or lastingly memorable on their self-released debut, As of Yet Unknown.
Upon first listen, Ecliptic should warm some ears. Passages such as the end of “Empyrical Sphere” or the melodic mid-section of “The River Flows On” bring to mind the style’s best. The latter half of “The Five Ways” is especially engaging, building naturally out of a soft bridge into a very well-written solo section. Natural is the key word; quality moments come when the band is playing what they seem comfortable with, not allowing themselves to get bogged down attempting to cram yet another blast beat here or an acoustic section there. Unfortunately, the latter approach seems to dominate the majority of the disc, as the band plays metallic paint-by-numbers with an assemblage of riffs as opposed to just writing instinctually. As a result, As of Yet Unknown is moderately entertaining and inoffensive in smaller doses (other than that post-2002 In Flames china cymbal sound...), but as a whole it struggles to maintain a grip on the listener for more than a couple tunes at a time.
Bottom line: Ecliptic are a talented local act struggling with the process of aiming higher. Luckily, As of Yet Unknown is only their debut and certainly shows glimmers of hope. However, failing to focus on these points of light will keep that unclaimed meloblack brass ring as out of reach to them as it is to countless other bands.
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