Esoctrilihum - Eternity Of Shaog review



Reviewer:
9.0

67 users:
8.06
Band: Esoctrilihum
Album: Eternity Of Shaog
Release date: May 2020


01. Orthal
02. Exh-Enî Söph (1st Passage: Exiled From Sanity)
03. Thritônh (2nd Passage: The Colour Of Death)
04. Aylowenn Aela (3rd Passage: The Undying Citadel)
05. Shtg (4th Passage: Frozen Soul)
06. Amenthlys (5th Passage: Through The Yth-Whtu Seal)
07. Shayr-Thàs (6th Passage: Walk The Oracular Way)
08. Namhera (7th Passage: Blasphemy Of Ephereàs)
09. Eternity Of Shaog (∞th Passage: Grave Of Agony)
10. Monotony Of A Putrid Life In The Eternal Nothingness


I am genuinely having a hard time believing this is a one-man band.

But it's true, Esoctrilihum, whose name I constantly have to to copy-paste because I can't for the life of me remember how to spell it, is a French one man black metal band. But this alone shouldn't warrant any disbelief, one man black metal bands are nothing new, and I reckon there's a fair share of French ones as well. But Eternity Of Shaog is so multi-faceted that it is really baffling that every guitar, synth and violin was performed by the same multi-instrumentalist. Not only that, but he's the only one who gets any production credits. He just needs to learn to paint cover arts and do music marketing and he'll no longer need anyone else at all to keep the Esoctrilihum machine going. And I call it a machine because what other band pumps out five full lengths in three years, and each of them both over one hour in runtime and of this high a quality.

I have thoroughly enjoyed every Esoctrilihum I have heard, but I have to admit that Eternity Of Shaog is the one that feels the most complete, and one where what I assume would be this project's vision is most effectively realized. This could vaguely be described as symphonic metal, mostly due to the synths and violins and pianos that play a significant role in this, but never have I heard symphonic elements blended with black metal of such ferocity. And as ferocious as it is, with its suffocating and somewhat psychedelic production, the symphonic element only further enhance the epic and imposing feeling that the album has. This is partly why I was baffled, as I was searching for whoever was performing violin here, expecting to find at least one or two guests. Nope. And it doesn't sound like the violin was half-assed either. Even the entire spectrum of the vocal performances and how they're layered doesn't feel like one person. Even the drums which are probably programmed never feel like they're not given enough attention.

Ok, by now I've probably made the point that this is all performed/produced by one person and it sounds fantastic regardless. And about how the blend of ferocious and epic is what drives this album forward. But it is that album's very melodicity in spite of its imposing presence that makes this such a compelling listen. Not only is it a slight shift of direction from previous Esoctrilihum releases, which were starting to feel a bit stale, but it does so without compromising the essence of what made Esoctrilihum's music great in the first place. Completely unrelated, but goddamn I wish more extreme metal bands could incorporate violins that effectively without sounding melodramatic. Even points where it sounds a bit akin to something like Hecate Enthroned or Summoning never really feel that similar to anything other than its own.

And take a look at the cover art. You probably remember the cover art of the previous Esoctrilihum album, the one that looked like an angel from Neon Genesis Evangelion, and with this one being done by the same artist, a bit of that larger than life feeling is transposed into Eternity Of Shaog as well. Larger than life mostly in a transcendental-deity-in-a-burning-desert way, not in a my-dad-can-pay-my-bail way. There is something very surreal about the way Eternity Of Shaog sounds. I've seen the word psychedelic thrown a lot, even by yours truly, to describe this, but I feel like it slightly misses the mark. It doesn't sound neither psychedelic nor transcendental really as much as it sounds menacing and otherworldly, but not really in a Lovecraftian way either. The monster on the cover art is clearly something you can see and comprehend, but it is still not of this world. And neither is this music. These sound like instruments from out world that you can hear, analyze and comprehend. But it doesn't completely sound like music from our world.

And whenever you thought that this record has already shown you all it has, it either explodes into furious black metal, brings out another instrument, or the same instrument but integrated in a new way, or a new vocal layering, or a production flourish, or a synth line. It just keeps throwing things at you. Even at its relatively long runtime, there really is no room for filler. So not only is the sound and the performance surreal, so is the project's consistency.



 



Written on 01.06.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 11   Visited by: 211 users
02.06.2020 - 00:18
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Awwww, you went all the way to 9 with it, didn't you you magnificent bastard?

Can't say I disagree with anything you said here, great review. This is basically exactly the change in sound I was looking for with this project and probably my black metal AOTY at the moment. Seriously well written and that twangy stringed instrument, whatever it is, is just absolutely delicious.
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Check out Apothecary's Favorite Bands Playlist, brotendo. One track per band.
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02.06.2020 - 00:23
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Apothecary on 02.06.2020 at 00:18

Awwww, you went all the way to 9 with it, didn't you you magnificent bastard?

Can't say I disagree with anything you said here, great review. This is basically exactly the change in sound I was looking for with this project and probably my black metal AOTY at the moment. Seriously well written and that twangy stringed instrument, whatever it is, is just absolutely delicious.

Was gonna go with an 8.5, but I just couldn't resist giving it its dues.

The instrument you're talking about is a violin, if album credits are to be trusted.

The only major criticism I could give this album is that some song transitions are kinda eh.
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Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
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02.06.2020 - 01:01
nikarg
Mod
This 9 is thoroughly deserved, I'd give it the same rating and I am generally not as generous as you . This is only the third album this year that gets a 9 from me. Like Che said, black metal AOTY so far and really, really far away ahead of bm album #2 (which is probably Rzeczom).
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02.06.2020 - 02:22
Lord Slothrop
I'm a huge fan of violin and its use in metal (one of the reasons I love Ne Obliviscaris so much), so after reading your review I took the plunge and bought it blind. And yes, it's great. Easily a 9 for me as well. As for the twangy instrument, could it be a kantele? And I had to look it up, by the way. First I'd ever heard of it.
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02.06.2020 - 14:46
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by RaduP on 02.06.2020 at 00:23

The instrument you're talking about is a violin, if album credits are to be trusted.

That thing on the 2nd and 8th tracks especially... really? It definitely doesn't sound like a violin, but I'll take it if so
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Check out Apothecary's Favorite Bands Playlist, brotendo. One track per band.
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02.06.2020 - 15:54
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Apothecary on 02.06.2020 at 14:46

Written by RaduP on 02.06.2020 at 00:23

The instrument you're talking about is a violin, if album credits are to be trusted.

That thing on the 2nd and 8th tracks especially... really? It definitely doesn't sound like a violin, but I'll take it if so

Man if only someone were to interview this guy to find out
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Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
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02.06.2020 - 17:22
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by RaduP on 02.06.2020 at 15:54

Man if only someone were to interview this guy to find out

He has been contacted
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Check out Apothecary's Favorite Bands Playlist, brotendo. One track per band.
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02.06.2020 - 17:48
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by Apothecary on 02.06.2020 at 00:18

Awwww, you went all the way to 9 with it, didn't you you magnificent bastard?

Can't s

I thought it was you who wrote this one. I miss your articles man
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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02.06.2020 - 19:17
Unhealer
Eclecticist
Finally a Esoctrilihum that really gets to me. The previous ones were good, but this? Oh boy.
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03.06.2020 - 03:30
Mario Montes
Thanks for your review RaduP, I didn't know the band and this record is pretty nice.
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12.10.2020 - 19:06
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Love this album. thank you for bringing it to my attention
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loves 小巫
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