Eternal Storm – A Giant Bound to Fall (Transcending Obscurity)

Friday, 16th February 2024
Rating: 9 / 10

Within the world of melodic death metal, there are many differing approaches. One who has paved a distinctive path is Spain’s Eternal Storm, melding the progressive, melodious, mournful, and straight hard-hitting into an alluring brew of which few artists have been so ambitious to attempt. Be’lakor and In Mourning come to mind as bands that stick out from the norm, both being highly recognizable within their individual interpretations. Like said pair, Eternal Storm isn’t afraid to wade into uncharted waters, though they’ve yet to receive the same level of attention. That may change with their sophomore full-length A Giant Bound to Fall; an album that delves further into new avenues and unearths a trove of aural treasures.

A notable change since Come the Tide is the departure of vocalist Kheryon not long after said album dropped in 2019, since being replaced by Danny R. Flys (also recently joining Persefone on vocal duties). Flys’ influence to this new release is especially in his vocal contributions – though he does add his instrumental and songwriting flair in parts as well – helping expand Eternal Storm’s reach via blackened shrieks and emotive cleans, along with growls of different cadences. It’s evident that himself, Daniel Maganto, and Jaime Torres all brought a plethora of carefully thought out ideas to the table, with the results being an emphatically eclectic endeavor.

Lush waves of synths and clean guitars immediately invite the listener in “An Abyss of Unreason” before a blistering drum assault fades in to set up a mesmerizing lead, pushing the song forward. Absolutely captivating, as the composition ebbs and flows between crunchy downpicked salvos of heaviness and soothing melodic passages, yet without either approach ever getting in the way of the other. Their songwriting has doubtlessly moved deeper into progressive territory, but without losing focus, paying close attention to not go off course. The downtrodden portion that begins around the nine minute mark is stunningly gorgeous, while the song’s aggressive finish is equally effective.

Each of the nine tracks of A Giant Bound to Fall – a nearly seventy minute journey in total – possess comparable amounts of attentiveness and diversity. “A Dim Illusion” tears deeply with caustic rhythm guitars and blackened tremolos, contrasted by slower, melodic doom-esque moments that act as a well-plotted counterbalance. Don’t forget a snarling vocal cameo by Aborted’s Sven de Caluwé, adding a deliciously harsh flavor. Tracks such as “Last Refuge” contain numerous bombastic moments while artfully melding the savage with the luminous – also with former vocalist Kheryon’s lone credit – whereas “The Void” is dominated by blackened death metal fury, albeit not without a somber moment or two.

An instrumental number titled “Eclipse” acts as a bridge between the first and second halves of the album, rendering a reflective tone via a memorable guitar piece and warm synths, culminating in a clean tremolo that reminds of Arctic Plateau’s more symbolic moments. “Lone Tree Domain” exhibits a couple of melodic black metal instances, simultaneously pulsing with energetic moments that weave intricately with the deft touch of the more laid back segments. Another standout is “The Sleepers” featuring an appearance by the one and only Dan Swanö and his signature vocal prowess. Mr. Swanö also mixed and mastered A Giant Bound to Fall, helping give the album an astute clarity, allowing every facet to glow in his signature fashion. The title track is an exquisite sign-off, overflowing with gobs of atmosphere and topped off by guest vocals via Persefone’s Sergi Bobby Verdeguer. There are a number of additional guests on the album, each adding their own flavor to an already multi-dimensional record.

What Eternal Storm has with A Giant Bound to Fall reaches far beyond the standard, knitting a detailed tapestry exploding with depth and color. The more time given to this album, further discoveries will reveal themselves. So yes, the patient will reap the most reward here, but the barrier of entry is easy to navigate. Something for everyone and all that. If this album doesn’t elevate Eternal Storm up a level of prominence, it’ll be a crime. The evidence in favor is clear and overwhelming.

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