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Eird – Prelude to Void Award winner

Eird
Prelude to Void
by Eric Poulin at 16 April 2021, 2:40 PM

EIRD is an ambient doom/ post-metal band that started in 2014, based out Germany and this is their fourth full-length album entitled “Prelude to Void” released on January 15th, 2021 independently through Bandcamp. As I have alluded to many times in some of my other reviews, the doom metal genre is the most complete one out there, as it stretches to so many genres that vary from rock, progressive, stoner, death, black, alternative, post-rock, industrial, experimental and fuzz. When I read the band’s description, I was very interested in how they performed an ambient post-metal doom style, as it is not your common mix, but a very intriguing one.

The album starts with a very telling title “…And So It Begins“  feels like a PARADISE LOST song without the vocals, it is beautifully melodramatic, and has a very gothic undertone as well. To a certain extent, this song is the embodiment of what made Peaceville so unique in the 1990s, because it is dark, ominous, and has multiple layers of sadness and melancholy, without falling into the clichés of tear-jerking music. The overall tempo of the track is very well maintained, and when it needs that additional powerful riff, it magically appears and adds a guttural aspect to the lengthy opening song. For those of you who are fans of the Drone style of bands like YOB, you will be drifting away for a solid 10 minutes on this one.

The first taste of the vocals are on the second track “Dreadsphere” and they sound very distant in the mix (most likely the intended effect). In some ways, this reminds me of chants you would hear in some folk metal projects or even viking metal. If there was one song you felt was recorded in an abandoned cavern, this would be it, it has so much echo to it (not in terms of special effects), but just in how it resonates with the 2 different guitar tones. TIAMAT when they started were masters at this, with natural reverb and having the song echo in your ears long after it had finished. Obviously, the song does have a fair share of repetition, but as the genre would suggest, it becomes very hypnotic, and keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering where the song will take you next.

The next 3 songs are indeed epics, being over 20 minutes or just a bit under it, relying much more on the ambient nature the band’s description clearly stated. The first one is “Eclipse of the Ages” which is barely audible in the first few minutes, with only whispers and distant bells in the background. Once the Floydian intro finishes, the song goes into a very crust-filled style, being just a tad faster than the funeral doom legends EVOKEN at times but knowing also when to add some doom/death passages, like some quicker drum patterns. Even though the vocals do not really have that many growls, they tend to be like long agony-stricken chants.

The last number which is also an instrumental “The Void at the End of the Tunnel” I feel is the cornerstone of this album. After being taken into the depths of agony and despair, what would you expect but the climax of that painful journey (not musically of course). The band really did a great job at selecting their titles, because this song does feel like you are going through a tunnel that seemingly has no end in sight. It has that claustrophobic effect throughout its 16-minute endeavor, where the guitar tones just seem to go in circles and wrap you in them. Having been a doom fan for over 20 years, it is a feeling I am sure long-time listeners of the genre will relate to, it is what makes the genre so special, it grows on you, takes you in and just engulfs you until the end.

Seeing the label stitched to this band, I was not sure what to expect, but boy are these guys heavy players in the genre. Everything sounds perfect, the timing of the mood changes in the songs is adequate and for an album that lasts over an hour, the time goes by very quickly. They master the subtlety of making little changes to a song structure to keep you interested and invested. If you have not heard of this band before and love doom, this will be a record you will want to crank on the vinyl turntable very soon!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. …And So It Begins
2. Dreadsphere
3. Eclipse of the Ages
4. Of Winter's Woe and Whishes Whispered
5. The Void at the End of the Tunnel
Lineup:
Andreas Georg Libera - All instruments
Luci van Org - Vocals
Sandy Kühn – Vocals
Record Label: Loneravn Records
     


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