This band is a bit of who’s who in Norwegian black metal, providing an instant interest and attraction. The people in question are the band creator Evighet, who is supported in this collection of destruction by Blasphemer of Mayhem and Aura Noir notoriety, Brynjard Tristan, formerly of Dimmu Borgir and Old Man’s Child, and other links with Noctural Breed.

The album itself, their first in 13 years and Eternity’s second full release, bears the same name as their 2005 demo, so I checked this out and there are some overlaps. No matter, but it’s good to know where we stand. Initially this has no impact on the high quality outpourings of fury which this album emits. From the start, it’s fast, furious and venomous. Such is the pace and intensity that it’s like being hit over the head and dragged along at the same time. The mantra “Te Nostro Deum Sathanas” is repeated at us as if there is no alternative. This is violent music without mercy, as good black metal should be. One piece of warfare follows another. From time to time the unending assault is interrupted to shake us up, only to make way for more violent battery. The technical quality should not be underestimated. The guitar work and production quality on “Horror Vacui”, one of the resurrected older demo tracks, are sublime. The effects of horror reverberate through the sound. “In Subspecies Aeterna”, first released on a 2003 demo, follows. It is more measured, and as is usual with Norwegian black metal, the slower it is, the more it infects the veins with its insistence. It’s then time to take shelter and put our battle gear on as the title song bears down on us and subjects us to another furious assault. “Violator” has a more sneering quality about it, not that anyone told the drummer or guitarist who between them smash heads and slash throats. I detected a move towards subtlety as “Empire” and “Nine Magic Songs” have greater instrumental sophistication inside the omnipresent ball of chaos and destruction. “Nine Magic Songs” in particular is pounding and epic. I felt however that it belonged in a different place from the raw carnage that characterises the first part of this album, and detracted from it by letting me off the hook.

Brace yourself. Barring the last couple of tracks which have different qualities, this is an onslaught of sheer intensity. Compromise and mercy are absent from “To Become the Great Beast” as you’d expect. The resultant mayhem and chaos are entertaining.

(8/10 Andrew Doherty)