Eternity’s End – The Fire Within (Power Prog Records)Wednesday, 23rd March 2016
Striking out on a new accord, ex-Obscura guitarist Christian Muenzner started Eternity’s End in 2014 – a power/progressive metal entity far different from his technical death wheelhouse. Having to step down due to focal dystonia (impairing the coordination of his index and middle fingers), this quintet is still quite heavy and aggressive in their output – also featuring a veteran singer in ex-Elegy front man Ian Parry that keeps melody hand in hand with the adrenaline-oriented, neo-classical laced proceedings. The Fire Within may be a debut album, but dig beneath the surface and you’ll find a band who record and deliver a product that sounds seasoned and sharp.
Shouldn’t really be a surprise that Symphony X oriented runs come up often in the early going, where keyboardist Jimmy Pitts and Christian tradeoff or join together for arpeggio nirvana on “The Hourglass”. Pushing the BPM’s and double kick to the limit on the follow up “Eagle Divine” as well as “Twilight Warrior”, drummer Hannes Grossmann has a lot of that Jorg Michael-oriented consistence down pat, allowing the other musicians free reign to showcase their abilities at racing plus shredding to the classic Stratovarius-ish or Helloween limit. Eternity’s End does not exist on pure up-tempo means alone – “White Lies” has that bright AOR-like keyboard riff and Parry’s equally intoxicating chorus match up that encourage unison clapping and cheering if ever aired on stage.
A couple of longer seven to eight-minute pieces give the second half of The Fire Within more of a classic vibe – “The Dark Tower” surely a cut where Christian channels his inner Blackmore and Malmsteen as the choir background elements and doomy main components play brilliantly against Ian’s multi-octave low to higher register – certain shrieks stretching his comfort zone to the max while making it work. Energy abounds, and Eternity’s End remember to give the audience a heavier tone to the record that reflects Christian’s past while being very respectful of the power, progressive, and neo-classical genres that this group embody.
The Fire Within is an excellent record and proves Christian Muenzner as a guitarist and composer can adapt to multiple styles of metal and produce high quality output time and time again. Looking forward to hearing more albums from this outstanding band, Eternity’s End could be a player in the competitive power/progressive metal scene for decades.