Spanish Progressive Melodic Death Metal quartet Eternal Storm initially began life as a band called Death Valley back in 2006. After 3 years, they changed, becoming Eternal Storm and have since spent the past 10 years honing their abilities. With a highly acclaimed EP (from the Ashes) and a split EP featuring Stortregn and Kaos Vortex released in 2013 and 2014 respectively, the Madrid based 4-piece are now unleashing their force of nature in their first full length release “Come The Tide”. Let’s see if we get swept away by it.
Before we even get into the music which appears on “Come The Tide”, we have to first look at what it holds. There are several guest musicians on this release, all of which contribute in various ways. There are 5 additional vocalists who contribute across the release from clean sections to growls including Migueloud Ontivero (Wormed), Fiar (Foscor) and Frederick Huldtgren (Kaos Vortex). Javier Fernández (The Heretic) contributes the keyboard and synth elements and Manuel Mendoza (La Banda Del Sopo) plays the saxophone on “Immersion”. This raft of guest contributors, along with Eternal Storm themselves have created their own force of nature which flows, consuming everything in its path!
Musically… It’s up there with bands like Insomnium, Dark Tranquility, Borknagar and Opeth. Massively atmospheric with a dynamic vocal and instrumental display featuring layers of melodic progressions over solid rhythmic foundations with fierce growls or smooth cleans to narrate the songs which are all wrapped up in synth and keyboard compositions which package it all together like a cell’s matrix holding the vital organelles which allow it to function. Biological metaphors aside, you hopefully get where I am coming from when generally describing this release – it has everything needed for it to work successfully, and it is delivered in a way which proves that Eternal Storm can successfully accomplish. It’s mesmerising melodic progressions are hypnotic, allowing you to be swept away by the currents of this progressive, melodic death metal storm, something many bands in this genre try to create and often find themselves marooned in their own ocean of sound.
Song wise, opening with a two-parter; “Through The Wall Of Light” (pt.1 The Strand and pt.2 Immersion), the band wastes little time in beginning to control the environment. Subtle atmospheric synths give way to a cascade of furious Melodic Death Metal riffs. Buzzing melodic leads and hammering rhythm work in tandem with the massive synth presence creates a mesmerising sound which can immerse you with ease and as the track progresses, the intricate arrangements, layering of fills and vocal lines just click together with minimal effort needed. It sounds so natural, even to the point where the track shifts from part 1 into part 2 – it is just a subtle movement which you hardly notice unless you look for it. Whilst part 1 (The Strand) is a torrential wave of melo-death, part 2 (Immersion) plays more to the ambience and melodic side. Yes, it gets heavy, but it lends itself to more atmospheric impacts and much like its title, surrounding you and controlling your senses. It is one hell of a way to open a release and it sets the bar for the rest of it.
From here, it is a constantly flowing current of musical activity. Swells of melody crest and descend into furious riffing which borders on the oppressive pseudo-black metal feel and the flow of the album doesn’t get disrupted in the slightest; the entire release has a real organic feel to it in the way that everything just works, there are no forced moments or awkward transitions. “The Mountain” lives up to its name, towering above the musical landscape as an imposing force of nature to overcome whilst tracks like “Detachment” and “Of Winter & Treason” show a more progressive edge to them in how they really utilise all available musical space to them, creating sprawling sonic landscapes to lose yourself in.
I could go on and on about this release and it would become a rather long piece of writing. There is so much to discover and experience in this musical system which leads to the fact that you will probably end up listening to this several times in a row. Eternal Storm have offered up a superb effort for their first full length release and I have my fingers crossed in the hope that this is the quality of material they will continue to release. This is one of the essential releases of 2019.