Author: Craig Matthews
Today we are diving full force back into the grim world of Black Metal with Italian band ETERNAL SAMHAIN. With their first full length album “Storyteller Of The Sunset And Dawn”, formed back in 2006 by Taliesin, the band went through a turbulent few years with a high turnover of members. They settled on a line up in 2011 to release the four track EP “Obscuritatis Principium” and after more line-up changes were made they released “Storyteller Of The Sunset And Dawn”.
After such chaos with the line-up I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the opening track “Confiteor” put me at ease a little. The track begins with some subtle synths while we are treated to Taliesin reciting some Latin scripture, this frankly sounds fucking creepy and sets the atmosphere just right for the rest of the album. I really like what I’m hearing from ETERNAL SAMHAIN, for a band that’s had so many line-up changes they play together extremely well.
Having listened to the album progress, I can see that the title Symphonic Black Metal is much more appropriate. They have thrown synthesisers, violins, a piano and what sounded like a church organ into the mix however on some occasions I think they lose the balance between the Symphonic and Black metal elements. An example is “Ode Al Vento”, there’s a lot going on here with violins, piano and ETERNAL SAMHAINS gritty and harsh sound, both elements don’t quite fit together as well as they should and it begins to sound a bit too polished for Black Metal.
As the album charges on we have an epic instrumental interlude “Vespri” which leads straight into “Trinux Samonia”, this is one of my favourite tracks on this album. It has a bruising guitar riff that is complimented by violins and some brilliant lead guitar work, including a nice solo. Combine this with Taliesins harsh and gritty growls and you get a great example of Symphonic Black Metal. This has set the bar high for the second half of the album, all the elements combine well and you get the beauty of the symphonic and the raw guttural power of the Black Metal.
It’s fair to say that ETERNAL SAMHAIN have impressed me, the band play together extremely well and the production and mixing is for the most part on point. It just seems that sometimes they got a bit carried away with all their toys and lose sight on what they are doing but however this is forgivable as it’s not throughout the whole album. If you look past this slight inconsistency then you have a great Symphonic Black Metal band and I will be keeping a close eye on them for future releases.
3.Ode Al Vento
4.Vox Populi, Vox Dei
7.King Of Yourself
9.Storyteller Of The Sunset And Dawn
Taliesin – Vocals
Dis Pater – Lead Guitar
Arawn – Rhythm Guitar
Nebiros – Bass
Taranis – Drums