Aeternam – Ruins Of Empires – Review

Author: Craig Matthews

Today we are taking a trip across the water to Québec, Canada. Where we find Symphonic Death Metal foursome AETERNAM and their third full length album “Ruins Of Empires”. These guys have so far escaped me so I’m looking forward to hearing their Oriental take on Death Metal brutality.

They aren’t shy about their far eastern influence as nearly every track on the album features some form of traditional instrument which could run the risk of sounding like a cheesy gimmick. However, they have managed to craft their songs so well that these folk elements just flow alongside some brutally heavy riffs. It throws the band in more of a Folk direction for sure, but it works so well that it doesn’t matter.

“Sun Shield” is one of my favourites from this album and is a great example of traditional folk and Death metal working together. Maxime Legault and Achraf Loudiy supply an absolutely crushing riff with Achraf also taking vocal dutys with guttural growls, its good stuff but it gets even better with a Folk interlude midway through featuring flutes and a horn in the back ground. It sounds like it should be a choppy mess, but thanks to some excellent guitar work it just flows smoothly.

However in the second half of the record I feel like AETERNAM are starting to lose their momentum, especially with “Colossus”. Their once brutal Death Metal sound now feels lacklustre and in some places chaotic, it’s like the song just hasn’t been put together right and is a blight on an otherwise great album. Thankfully they soon turn things around and on “Praetor Of Mercury” they rediscover their spark they had at the beginning of the album and they return to form creating an almost tribal atmosphere with the inclusion of some chanting and drums. This gives a good twist away from their usual Death Metal savagery.

I like what AETERNAM are going for, their mix of traditional Death Metal with Oriental Folk gives them a very unique sound, and they do it in a way that doesn’t make them sound cheesy. They just have to be careful when writing their songs, it’s a very fine line between quirky and awkward sounding. But they only fell into this trap once, which is very impressive. If I was to be picky I’d say the album could have done with more of the heavier tracks, but that’s just my opinion. All in all they did a good job, and I’m looking forward to hearing more from them

Rating –  4/5

Tracklist
1.Damascus Gate
2.Paropamisadae
3.Sun Shield
4.The Keeper Of Shangri – La
5.Fallen Is The Simulacrum Of Bel
6.Colossus
7.NightFall On Numidia
8.Praetor Of Mercury
9.Zadyin Arga

Band Members
Achraf Loudiy – Vocals & Guitars
Maxime Boucher – Bass & Vocals
Maxime Legault – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Antoine Guertin – Drums, Percussions

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