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Aeternitas - Tales Of The Grotesque (2018) - Review

Band: Aeternitas
Album title: Tales Of The Grotesque
Release date: 29 June 2018
Label: Massacre Records

01. The Tell-Tale Heart
02. The Raven
03. The Experiment
04. Dream In A Dream
05. Child Of The Darkness
06. Eldorado
07. Deus Ex Machina
08. The Bells
09. The Portrait
10. Eleonora
11. Annabel Lee
12. A Case Of Revenge

German seven piece Aeternitas seems to be in creative bloom right now. I didn't expect that already two years after their previous album, House Of Usher, the band which needed seven long years to release previous album, will be back with a new offering so soon. Even though that they went through a member change behind the microphone, female singer Alma Mathar left the band last year, but soon they found a new one in as well talented vocalist Julia Marou. Aeternitas who formed back in 1999 have since then released (including this one) five full length albums and one live album. If the band until now did four albums which were quite different between each other, it seemed like that they were searching for their own expression, the new album pretty much follows what they did on House Of Usher. Not only musically, also thematically is like the previous one based on stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe. Tales Of The Grotesque could be as well called House Of Usher part two.

Aeternitas developed some kind of an intriguing symphonic/gothic metal which is based on strong heavy/gothic metal sound and lush orchestrations. It's not something really alarmingly new or original, but still good enough. Sometimes the thing sounds really bombastic and even though that this album, like I said before is in many ways similar to the previous one, I can also say that it feels more elaborated, it's a bit stronger, powerful and orchestrations are more enhanced. The instrumental side is a bit more dense, richer, maybe a bit catchier, but vocally, especially male vocals are not fitting that well. Don't get me wrong, Oliver Bandmann is a good singer, but his rather theatrical German accent doesn't go that well together with Julia's amazing emotive and strong voice, a good example is the song "The Bells", which would be way better without male vocals. On the other hand there are parts where the two singers perform some astonishing duets, like for example in most of the emotional semi-ballad "Annabel Lee". I aplaud also use of some death growls in certain tiny parts like for example in the speeding dark tune named "Child Of The Darkness".

Tales Of The Grotesque consists of 12 songs that will for sure leave a mark on the symphonic metal spectrum, especially the powerful groovy ones like is the opener "The Tell-Tale Heart", the dynamic driver "Experiment" or the bombastic "Deus Ex Machina". The compositions are often pretty theatrical and thanks to well inserted orchestrations also atmospheric. The rhythmic line is constantly very powerful and guitar riffs are overwhelming, with some tasteful additional leads for musical gourmets. All of the songs are constantly melodic with necessary pretty catchy refrains and truly captivating parts, just listen to the evocative "Eleonora" and you'll get my point. As well the addition of some electronic samples, like for example in the last song, "A Case Of Revenge", serves its purpuse to make everything even more interesting and dynamic. Of course Aeternitas couldn't miss to offer us also a piano driven ballad, the thing in which they are really good, they showed this on the previous album with emotionally captivating "Madeline", this time its name is "Eldorado".

Aeternitas did another good album, nothing too astonishing, just above average good and it certainly stands out in the ocean of average symphonic/gothic metal albums that are released almost every day. For what concerns the instrumental side I'm more than satisfied with Tales Of The Grotesque, also female vocals are throughout very good, the things that could be better are production, which is rather "dusty", and for this style it should be flawless yet just a bit more powerful, also the mix, especially on vocals could be better, and like I said it before, male vocals should be improved. If they reached even a higher level on instrumental side, they unfortunately made a small step down on vocal side. Nevertheless, if you are into well done female fronted symphonic metal and you like some gothic atmospheres with theatrical insertions than Aeternitas are a thing that you wouldn't dare to miss.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7,5/10