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Ecthirion – Psalms of the Risen Dead

Psalms of the Risen Dead
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 09 January 2019, 5:04 AM

ECTHIRION is an orchestral metal band from England, we mix the brutality of heavier styles of metal with the melodic elements of symphonic metal and classical music. They formed in 2007 and released an EP in 2009 (“Apocalyptic Visions”) with five tracks. Shortly before the release of the EP we changed our name from AXIOM to ECTHIRION. They have only ever had a few actual members, the others contributing to the albums were/are guest musicians. Nine years after the release of their EP comes their debut full-length, “Psalms of the Living Dead.”

”Uproot” leads off the album, with a prolonged scream and some fancy lead guitar work. The atmosphere is thick with Symphonic and Classical elements. It has a Power Metal sound at its core, with some slightly pitchy vocals, but with some light melodic moments. “Chariots of Elysium” opens with some bombast and some harsh metal vocals, mixed together with clean female vocals. The tough sound is reminiscent of war, though there are choppy elements here and some of them don’t go well together. “March of the Risen Dead” opens slowly with light Symphonic elements…baritone and trumpet. From there it definitely sounds like a march of an undead army. This song follows a linear path pretty well with some nine chord progressions.

“Mortality” is a quick and choppy one-and-a-half minutes. It’s too short to establish much of a sound which begs the question, why? “Eagle’s Wings” has a heavy edge with a lot of Symphonic elements and a full, rich chorus. It could be the best song on the album in terms of its completeness. With a positive sound, it really makes a mark. “Though a Thousand Fall” is a six-and-a-half minute song, thick with guitar and symphony. The verses are tender with voice and keys, and the chord progressions make good sense. Frail female vocals make an appearance here as well, but the song seems disjointed. “Evanescent” is close to ten minutes in length. It has a mostly melancholy sound but with some resolve. It follows a Classical music path mostly, with more choppy elements it never quite gets off the ground.

“Home” is the final track, a seven minute closer. It opens with soft keyboard notes and alluring female vocals. It has a dreamy sound and caps off the album quite well. Overall, it’s fairly clear that this is a project between husband and wife, and not a touring band, but that’s neither here nor there. They do a pretty good job of trying to create a sound that is their own, but much of it comes out too choppy to enjoy wholeheartedly. They pour their life and soul into their music, that is for sure.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 7
Memorability: 4
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Uproot
2. Chariots of Elysium
3. March of the Living Dead
4. Morality
5. Eagle’s Wings
6. Though a Thousand Fall
7. Evanescent
8. Home
Gabriel Neale – Guitars, Bass, Backing Vocals
Hannah Neale – Vocals 
Record Label: Soundmass Production


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Edited 14 December 2019

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