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Eternal Abyss – MMXX

Eternal Abyss
MMXX
by Rachel Montgomery at 15 July 2020, 2:30 AM

ETERNAL ABYSS is a band formed in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Taking notes from early metal acts like BLACK SABBATH and the overall sounds of goth and doom metal, this band has an incredible foundation and is off to a good start. With veteran acts from STYGIS, COCYTUS and ARCHERON, the musical talent is also there. However, muddy production and throwing the lovely vocals in the back of the tracks kind of puts a damper on the album. Does it still hold up? Let’s dive in.

The album opens with “Eternal Abyss,” a classic doom metal sounding number that has the foundations to be a solid song. However, the production kind of nerfs it. First, the vocals are very far back. Par for the course for this genre, I understand, but I wish the singing were more in the front. The vocalist’s pipes are lovely and smooth. They need to be up more so we can appreciate that. Also, the main melody, while solid, is repetitive on its own. This usually isn’t a problem when the vocals are front and center. However, since this isn’t the case, the rolling, pounding drums and the snare just overwhelm what would be a great piece. The guitar solo is well done, but again, should be more forward in the production.

Sacrificial Witch” has a strong galloping riff and a beautifully eerie, haunting, screeching whistle in the intro that gives me the creeps. However, these elements are once again put behind the drums which creates a muddied mess. For a second time, the sound is buried. I enjoyed the melody change in the middle, it was a good, theatrical touch. The vocal harmonies after the change aren’t half bad either. I just wish I could hear them clearly. The sound works in the beginning of “Witching Me” when the vocals are a hair more forward, and the echoing sound creates a haunting effect that reminds me of BLACK SABBATH.

The melody change works to keep this eight-minute track fresh. The chanting in the back of the hard, marching riff in the middle is haunting and brings to mind ritual sacrifice and other macabre imagery. In the last couple minutes, they slow the track down for a slow guitar melody that feels calm and creepy at the same time. It comes in clearer than the rest of the song, so works to stand out. It also feels like the winding down of a possessed music box or leaving a haunted building behind. The final hard riffs are like the end credits of a horror movie, serving as an overture outro.

She’s Dying Away From Me” begins with a lovely, low bass riff that is simple, but progressive with the way it echoes and builds as it goes on. However, when the drums and guitars kick in, the sound muddies again and becomes grainy. I enjoy the groove of this song and the melody slaps, as the kids say now. But it has the same problems as the last song, namely the vocals are too far back when there’s no reason for them to be. The singer has a lovely voice. I can tell it’s genuinely clear back there.

Candelabrum” also gets a special mention for having an engaging, climbing guitar solo that gives me pause. The album closes with “World War III,” which has a very atmospheric opening with 1930s and 1940s cartoon effects against a looming horn, stopping when a bomb goes off, and starting again after. I like the classical composition of it, and the interruption of the bombs twice before the main melody revs up and takes over. Of all the songs, the production arrangement is best here, with the vocals front and center. This is the best song on the album by far.

I get doom metal sludge sound, I honestly do. However, in today’s liberating era when you can mix it up and not stick straight to the conventions of any one genre, it’s sometimes best to do that. This would have blown me away had the sound been clearer and the main melodies brought to the foreground. However, there were some tracks on here that were so well done, they made the album better. The musicianship is really there, and I think if they clean up the sound so their awesome vocal quality and riffs shine through, it will be amazing.

Songwriting: 8
Production: 5
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Eternal Abyss
2. Sacrificial Witch
3. Witching Me
4. She’s Dying Away From Me
5. Candelabrum
6. World War III
Lineup:
JC Martins - Guitars and Vocals
Nikolas Bruni - Bass
Gustavo Maia - Drums
Record Label: Loneravn Records
     


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