|Review: Ereb Altor - The End|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: March 7, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Rated 4/5 (80%) (22 Votes)
Ereb Altor is what every anti-doom metal person fears. The songs are long, drawn out, and sometimes, not much even happens. It's not dissimilar from their main band, the magnificent Isole. Most of the time however, the songs are slow builders mounting to powerful climaxes that reward the most alert and invested of listeners. Losing focus for a moment can cause the listener to lose the song's progress and become out of sync with the song and album's deceptive intensity. While there may not be as many notes squeezed into a small time frame or lightning quick guitar solos, Ereb Altor's The End reflects painstakingly meticulous songwriting and composition. These songs flow with a simple, yet grievous grace that wouldn't be possible with the overwrought glitz of most metal music. Casual fans will hear this and pass it off as boring with "nothing going on." I pity them. They're missing out.
As I've said, this sounds very similar to the two man band's main project, Isole. On that project, Crister Olssen and Daniel Bryntse split the guitar and vocal duties, but here the two of them split all instrumental and vocals. It's a true two-man band. The unmistakable pained croon of Olsson (known as "Mats" on this project) is present, as well as the harsh counterpoint of Bryntse. Even the guitar work isn't too different than Isole's sound. But where the difference lies is in the album's pacing. Ereb Altor's songs are drawn out into immense soundscapes that require persistent attention. They grow into conclusions that are depressed, triumphant, or enrapturing. With a tinge of folk/Viking metal as well, Ereb Altor makes their music even more unique, separating themselves from so many other depressive doom bands.
Opening up with a four minute prologue, they seamlessly flow into the excellent melancholy of "Myrdving," whose powerful moaning climax is one of the album's high points. The next two songs are epics beginning with gentle acoustic passages that climb into heavy riffing. Despite how good these songs are, they also become a tad undistinguished. This ends in the end, as Ereb Altor puts together a three song, 24-minute trilogy to end The End. As cool and potentially awe-inspiring as this is, it only sounds like three vaguely similar songs (albeit very good ones) strung together as a trilogy. I can't say that I'd think they were intentionally connected unless I looked at the CD booklet.
Olssen and Bryntse have proven themselves to be two of metal's most consistent composers. They're always doomy and very depressed, and they have a real knack for making their listeners pretty depressed too.
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