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The Eternal - Waiting for the Endless Dawn Award winner

The Eternal
Waiting for the Endless Dawn
by Martin Knap at 27 August 2018, 7:26 PM

THE ETERNAL were formed by the vocalist and guitarist Mark Kelson in 2003 after the disbanding of the Death/Doom/Gothic band CRYPTAL DARKNESS. Kelson is known for his collaboration with members of bands like ANATHEMA and MY DYING BRIDE and Martin Curtis-Powel (MY DYING BRIDE, ANATHEMA, CRADLE OF FILTH) actually recorded some albums with THE ETERNAL. Before releasing “Waiting For The Endless Dawn” they have played a mix of Gothic and Atmospheric rock similar to ANATHEMA, which might explain why someone like me, who follows mainly the Metal press, was not familiar with them, even though they are so accomplished and successful. The new album “Waiting For The Endless Dawn” has crated quite a big hype in Metal magazines and blogs, which in part is maybe due to the incorporation of Death/Doom elements into their music on the new release. The transformation isn’t too radical, the music isn’t all too different from the Goth Rock that the band is known for, but heavier riffs and growling vocals have been incorporated.

Right off the start the band hits you with a 19 minutes (!) long song titled “The Wound”. I’m a bit weary when it comes to such long songs, especially for genres like Goth Rock that are not well suited for this kind of epic scope. Modern Doom songs are sometimes like a minimalist abstract painting on a giant canvas: the vastness adds to the monotonous music and helps to accentuate the gloomy, forlorn atmosphere. I guess that with Doom Metal one can either take this route or go in a progressive direction and write songs that are so packed with riffs and melodies and different twists and turns that it is just very interesting to listen to, which is what THE ETERNAL did with “The Wound”. The instrumental intro is about two minutes long and you can tell right away by the melodies and the way they are layered that this song cannot suck. The verse has that typical mix of sweetness with melancholia and apathy of a HIM song, but the pre-chorus departs form this and has soaring melody and passionate vocals. The chorus is really catchy; it has some nice backing vocal harmonies and Kelson’s singing sounds like that of the vampire king Peter Steele himself. Predictably the song has a “part 2” with new riffs and lead melodies galore; the chorus returns towards the end to tie the song together.

Rise From Agony” has a sinister intro with creepy piano riff, but the body of the song is more on the soft, melancholic side. The dreamy and emotional chorus with violin harmonies reminds me of ANATHEMA, but the emotional parts of the song are tied together with heavy riffs and a sinister guitar melody. “A Cold Day To face My Failure” sounds like a softer KATATONIA or GHOST BRIGADE song, but also features a heavy section with growling vocals. “I Lie In Wait” got me with it’s its catchy, almost sweet chorus, but the song also hits you out of left field with some heavy riffs. “Don’t Believe Anymore” is the only song that clocks under 10 minutes. It’s the most straightforward HIM-esqe Goth Rock song on the album with a catchy chorus. Song no. 7 titled “In The Lilac Dusk” is the heaviest on the album and my personal favorite. It is written around a simple but haunting melody or riff, that all instruments and the vocals repeat throughout the song. The song ties this simple, emotional melody together with heavy Doom/Death riffs and growls, which is an approach that works really well for Finnish modern Doom bands like SWALLOW THE SUN - and accidentally Mikko Kotamäki makes a guest appearance on the song.

As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed this album. Finally I have found a hype that I can get behind. The songwriting is great, all the songs have a sense of development and drama. The music is somewhat instrumentally oriented or progressive, but the singer really shines as well. For me personally, the run time was not a big problem either: 1 hour and 15 minutes of THE ETERNAL doesn’t feel nearly as long as 1 hour of your average Hard Rock, that I can promise you. Overall, it’s an impressive release.

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

4 Star Rating

1. The Wound
2. Rise from Agony
3. A Cold Day to Face My Failure
4. I Lie In Wait
5. Don't Believe Anymore
6. In the Lilac Dusk
7. Waiting for the Endless Dawn

Richie Poate – Guitars, Songwriting
Mark Kelson – Guitars, Vocals
Marty O'Shea – Drums, Songwriting
Dave Langlands – Bass

Record Label: Inverse Records


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