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Etterna - Chaotic

by Kevin Burke at 18 December 2018, 10:31 AM

ETTERNA, the Slovakian based quintet have just unleashed their long awaited debut album, “Chaotic”.  Recorded over a very productive eighteen-month period, this mixture of prog-metal has begun to be a highly applauded release indeed, the ‘prog’ reference may not be wholly true for this band. It has started to become commonplace among metal artists to bring new sounds and new elements into the age-old foundations, this in turn keeps the music fresh and interesting.  Here ETTERNA have done exactly that, a fresh approach to that old format resulting in a ten-track splendor that will inevitably boost their audience numbers.

This premier release is solid, the idea of over-complicating the music structure is luckily kept to a minimum.  There is always that fear with debuts of this nature that a band may feel they are required to overindulge the listener with a flash, musically complex release instead of a technically sound album, at times “Chaotic” might balance on that tightrope only to be pulled back through some very skillful musicians who before diving into that very chaos. The opening, aptly titled “The Grand Opening” is simply the drama and tension builder with a folk-like acoustics which gradually builds with intensity into “Swan”. This is the real, honest and energetic sound of ETTERNA.  This in truth is honest heavy metal with its roots firmly growing from the past and technical advances pointing into the future.

Secreto en Fragopolis” has it all, NWOBHM soaring guitar licks and a solid rhythm section with the firing kick-drum of Tomáš Višňovský a definite talking point. The vocals of Ady Hnat are a descended of the Ronnie James era, although included in the track is a demonically driven growl on vocals, given that extra edge to the track.  The bonus radio edition tagged on at the end is another view of not a more restrained affair. Back into the world of acoustics on “My Guidance Home”, layered over with some solid electric guitar work by the very busy Adam Maňko and Feral Inferis, more growls and uplifting vocals which leads nicely into the sprawling “Before Our Lives” which stutters under the weight of the musicians into an outright metal-fest, excellent on all levels.

That impressive drumming opens “Demon”, an impressive rocker with the dual clean vocal and hellish growl in full call and reply mode, they are firing on all cylinders here, the band open up and do what they do best, enjoyable from the rolling start to every guitar-crank contained throughout. “Betrayed Love” is a full-on acoustic track, although some of the elements such as the barrage of drums remain in place, the emotion in Hnat’s vocals is very real, hearing a stripped back ETTERNA works well.  The electrified solo which invaded the song does not take from the overall impact, instead adding to its sentiment, at six-minutes it is just the right balance of reflection.

The album jumps back into a headlong assault with the initial closer “Desert Ruins”, guitars scream and a death-snarl, this is the albums headline moment, elements that appear in the album come to a head here and are forged into an apocalyptic-treat. Overall it is a great album, again I say the ‘prog’ label is a little off the mark at times as ETTERNA at heart is a straightforward metal-band, nonetheless a highly enjoyable and interesting offering for the listener.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Grand Opening
2. Swan
3. Secreto en Fragopolis
4. This Moment
5. My Guidance Home
6. Before Our Lives
7. The Independent Dreamland
8. Demon
9. Betrayed Love
10. Desert Ruins
11. Secreto en Fragopolis (radio edit)
Ady Hnat – Vocals
Adam Maňko- Lead Guitar
Feral Inferis – Rhythm Guitar
Martin Fides – Bass
Tomáš Višňovský – Drums
Record Label: Sliptrick Records


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Edited 19 October 2021

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