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Aeternam - Heir Of The Rising Sun review

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Band: Aeternam
Album: Heir Of The Rising Sun
Release date: September 2022

01. Osman's Dream
02. Beneath The Nightfall
03. Irene
04. Nova Roma
05. Kasifi's Verses
06. Where The River Bends
07. The Treacherous Hunt
08. Akhatist Hymn
09. The Fall Of Constantinople

Aeternam are still one of Quebec's best kept secrets despite their long career. Truth be told, you would not necessarily be looking for top-notch quality melodic death from La Belle Province. After all, it is mostly known for its technical death scene. But you would be wrong. Aeternam have successfully delivered the goods since 2007. Ten years have passed, but Moongod is still regarded as one of the finest albums to ever emerge from these shores. More recently, 2020's Al Qassam was a gem of an album. Fast forward to present time, and Heir Of The Rising Sun is sure to impress just as much as its predecessor.

You all know this: Melodeath is a perilous business. You need all sorts of gimmicks to stand out or risk being swallowed by the masses of quality bands from all over the world (mostly from Finland and Sweden though). Aeternam have long figured it out by incorporating oriental folk influences, that is, from the Middle East. It is Orphaned Land meet a thrash version of Dark Tranquillity and a dollop of Septicflesh. It is like a darkened Angra album in terms of lyricism and technical mastery, with the unmatched power of melodic death metal on levels rivaling Wolfheart, and the flourish of symphonic metal with their vocal layering and orchestration.

Comparisons aside, the ultimate force that sets Aeternam apart is their dynamic momentum. "Beneath The Nightfall" is all you need to listen to to understand what this band is all about. Every track has that explosive quality that culminates in a crescendo - or expertly delays the build up just enough - to create an upswing of emotions supported by the unique voice of Ashraf Loudiy. His modulation has that undefinable quality proper to singers who grew up listening to old world folk music. He does shines on a track such as "Irene", which flirts with the vocal perfection of Kamelot Roy Khan-era before going off-track into background vocals heaven a la Blind Guardian mashed up with Nile esoteric atmosphere.

I don't want to delve too much into a full detailed analysis of this album. It would be a disservice as its soul speaks for itself. It is best left for discovery. As far as metal is concerned, this is exactly what I want to hear. Creativity, flow, intensity and moments of brilliance. A complex array of emotions comes through with ebb and flow. You would be hard-pressed to find fault with Heir Of The Rising Sun. Aeternam strike again with the perfect mix of harshness and beauty.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Written on 04.09.2022 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

I have only got so much patience and skills, you do the math.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 151 users
04.09.2022 - 20:45

Excellent review, great point on their dynamic way of writing music. This is also one of the best live bands in the business.
06.09.2022 - 14:52
Rating: 8

I like the album, although I'm not sure it's got highlights as strong as Al Qassam. I don't remember the last album being nearly this symphonic-heavy though, it's an interesting shift in focus if that's not me just misremembering the finer details of Al Qassam
07.02.2023 - 18:53
Rating: 8

It's not as good as Al Qassam, still it's really good. The interim symphonic elements are some of the most interesting pieces I have heard. And the opening riffs of the closing track just rules.
Leeches everywhere.

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