Saturday, 23 January 2016
ETERNAL OF SWEDEN – Heaven’s Gate (CD)
This Swedish combo, originally called just Eternal, released their debut album Chapter 1 in 2012, so it’s about time for a follow-up. The debut was in the vein of Eclipse, with a slightly heavier edge. Melodic hard rock with a touch of AOR. Well, opening track Ruins kicks off the new album way heavier than its predecessor. This reminds me quite a lot of Nocturnal Rites actually. Still melodic and still heavy, but even more bombastic and with Sabaton:ish warrior style choirs (which I unfortunately don’t especially like). The title track continues in the same vein, but fortunately leaving the “warriors” outside. Surrounded By Shadows draws closer to power metal in its design, but Christer Gärds is far more interesting than the majority of the current power metal singers. The production by Peter Tägtgren is powerful and heavy, but there’s something with the keyboards I just don’t like. It’s like they are floating in a dimension of their own, disconnected from the rest of the music. It’s like they are far away and with a big reverb all over it. It’s especially evident in the track The Purity Inside, but also in several other tracks. I’ve given the album a few spins and it hasn’t hit me as hard as the outstanding debut. I hope it will grow on me, but I think the main problem for me is that they have moved in a direction that is a bit further from what I’m into right now. Still, it’s top quality on musicians, vocals and overall it sounds killer, and the track Freedom Now is damn fine!
Label: Black Lodge