Published on Sunday, 09 February 2014 16:31
Band: The Eternal
Album title: When The Circle Of Light Begins To Fade
Release date: 16 August 2013
Label: Sombrelight Records / Firebox
01. Circle Of Light
02. Beneath These Waves
05. In Severance
06. Divided We Fall
07. Yesterday's Fire
08. Carry Us Away
09. A Quiet Death Of The Sun
10. The End Of Everything
11. Without A Trace
12. Dark Day Coming
13. The Burning Truth
Mark Kelson and company are back with their fifth studio album, this time as a four piece band again. With their new album When The Circle Of Light Begins To Fade the Australian band shows the most mature and at the same time most complex work in their 10 years of activity under the name The Eternal. It would be almost inadmissible if the band which chooses such a strong band name as The Eternal wouldn't release spectacular music and this is exactly what those Melbourne based guys do, making what they best can regardless of everything. There's no doubt that the members are all very experienced musicians, beign on the scene since early 90's, so the quality of music is not questionable. The problem and a huge pity is that none of big labels out there is taking this band under their wings as they certainly deserve this, much more than 90% of average releases that we hear beign released by those. I hope that this album will make a difference...
If they were considered by many as the Aussie version of the likes as Paradise Lost, Anathema or Amorphis in the past, now that must be forgotten. When The Circle Of Light Begins To Fade still has everything that The Eternal did in the past - it has the unmistakeable sound which they achieved before, there's typical melancholic metal heard before on Sleep Of Reason or Kartika, there are raw rocking elements that the band was toying with on their previous album, Under A New Sun, but there's something more and that must be discovered piece by piece. You'll find elements of oriental music hidden somewhere in between, strong doom metal passages, pop melodies, gothic ambiances, psychedelic interludes, old school rock'n'roll, there is flirting with progressive side of rock music,... everything played with such a passion and devotion that is almost unbeliveable how everything works out blended together in such a well flowing song structures.
When The Circle... is an emotional roller coaster! It opens very strong with first two tracks where a bit of everything what will follow is in there, but the real emotional outpur comes with "Motionless" and semi ballads as "Divided We Fall" with amazing vocals, "Carry Us Away" or the song which will bring tears in the eyes to all Anathema fans, "Without A Trace". You won't find the typical ballads like were "Hollow Inside" on Sleep Of Reason, or beautiful "The Sleeper" from Under A New Sun, but more elaborate compositions. It's difficult to get past the conclusive one "The Burning Truth", with such a great chorus and great melody, breathtaking. It's obvious and clear that When The Circle Of Light Begins To Fade with its 13 songs it's the most melancholic and dark album The Eternal ever did, not only from the musical aspect, but as well from lyrical.
And when you'll pay more attention to the sole music you'll find that you haven't heard such great guitar work for a long time in this genre. Sometimes there are so many layers of it that it's almost confusing. Heavy riffs often intertwine with acoustic lines, elaborate leads and progressive elements that occasionally remind even to Steven Wilson's projects. Amazing keyboards (played by legendary Martin Curtis-Powell - ex Cradle Of Filth, ex Anathema,...) are almost imperceptible, but they form a very nice sound courtain that gives a special ambiance and kind of obscure felling. Then the piano touches, for example on very dynamic "Beneath These Waves" are exqusite. Hard kicking rocking drums and perfect bass lines are forming a strong rhytmic structure. Melodic soundscapes are the key and very emotional, dynamic, with many layers, way of singing is top notch this time.
Mark was toying with production a bit, it's not what you'll expect in the beginning, as there's present kind of raw, garage sound, yet very modern and at the same time unbelievably clear. When The Circle Of Light Begins To Fade is an adventure, it demands the pure devotion from the listener, otherwise you will loose many details that make this album such an amazing sonic experience. It's an album that you must listen to in your most confortable chair, with lyrics in your hands and smell of the cover when taken out of wrapper. Of course, I believe that those songs when played live gain even more power and energy, so I'm really looking forward to see them sometime on the stage. You know, When The Circle Of Light Begins To Fade is an album not to be missed and absolutelly one of the best released in 2013.
Review written by: T.V.