Don’t be tricked by the cover. Or maybe I’d better say don’t be put off by the cover. Despite appearances, Eerie is no Toxic Avenger worshipping, zombie-obsessed, disposable thrash metal band. Maybe it works with the music on some level but whatever that might be is a little lost on me — and they’ve also not spent a great deal of time thinking about the album title either. But aesthetic gripes aside, Eerie has clearly put all its spare creativity into the actual music. Which could possibly be a misguided thing to do in these days where first impressions count and the attention span of the average online web surfer, including me, is less than the aforementioned zombie. But, scratch the surface, and is self-evident that Eerie is aiming at a more rarefied market. This is a band nudging the boundaries with their black metal-infused doom rock that pushes aside easy categorisation and prepares to builds its temporal bridge between Hawkwind, Killing Joke and Destroyer666.
It’s an ambitious plan which has been brought together by members of bands as diverse as California black metal band Draugar (Tim Lehi – who’s also responsible for the interesting cover art), Vermont doomsters Witch, gloomy death rockers Alaric and what turns out to be the inspired addition of hardcore drummer Baby Leg. All those things together could produce something truly awe inspiring and fans of Nightfell will already have seen how effective black metal and prog-led doom are introduced in the musical equivalent of a blackened Hadron Collider. Eerie works best when the powerful rhythm section heave together with those mournful vocals like on the standout Yeti or the final track Blood Drinker. But then those blackened firework guitar solos and organic drums also provide some chilling moments – when the band’s obvious talents come together in an explosion of dark, progressive jamming.
But while there are some veritable delights herein my one worry about the Eerie experience is that the vocals don’t quite match up to the mighty combination of blackened doom meets rock that Eerie has created. The vocals aren’t bad at all – in fact, Shane Baker’s other band Alaric is an intense experience. But here it all seems a bit swamped in the heady, driving mix and bursts of guitars and drumming. It’s more than a production issue, I’d say. Perhaps the vocal melodies don’t quite match up to the towering, head banging going on elsewhere and that the contract between the styles is a little too much for my little old brain to take after all. Either way, this is a fine effort on most fronts, and with some patching up I can see this band returning with destructive force.
(7/10 Reverend Darkstanley)