"Certainly different, and fairly refreshing - 75%"
"High Wycombe based black metal duo Ethernal are a very different prospect to what I expected. Firstly, they’re not quite as grim as their album title suggests (in fact, their guitar tone has quite a warm, rounded buzz as opposed to the harsh treble filled sandblast I was expecting), and secondly, their songs seem to be packed full of progressive arrangements and at times, almost thrashy riffage – so this is far from your bog standard bedroom Darkthrone-clone project.
It’s hard to give similar sounding comparisons to Ethernal’s music, as the band would definitely have to have a large number of influences judging by this album alone, giving a fair amount to enjoy for pretty much any extreme metaller. From blasting Marduk-like sections, chanting and keyboard filled epic passages, moments of chugging thrash to chilled out acoustic prog meandering with clean vocals, this album seemingly has it all. However, the difference here is that they don’t actually sound like they’re trying to please everyone, managing to successfully bind all these different aspects together into an impressively cohesive package. They have a great ear for melody, especially notable in ‘Colossus’, with it’s latter day Nachtmystium styled lead work, echoing its haunting melodies clearly through the mix with a delay filled theramin like guitar line that works perfectly, drawing the listener deeper into its dark soundscape. Track 4 ‘Echoes’ even manages to fit in a slightly stargazing edge at times, reminiscent of Alcest’s more recent material, ebbing and flowing with vivid musical emotions.
To me, ‘Grim Ethernity’ merely proves that Ethernal are obviously comfortable in their own skin, neither trying to impress the kvlt babies or flummox the prog noodlers. It’s rare for a band to have their own sound these days, but these guys certainly have managed it. Don’t believe me? Check ‘em out and hear for yourself."
Originally written for www.metalteamuk.net
Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.