The Night Eternal – Fatale (Ván Records)Wednesday, 12th July 2023
Journalists seek fresh sounds that stand out against the sea of familiar styles, which can be especially tough in the metal marketplace these days. Glimmers of hope shine this time from Germany in the form of The Night Eternal – a five-piece that started in 2019, quickly releasing an EP, “Shadow’s Servants” single, signing with Ván Records and issuing a debut album for Moonlit Cross in late 2021 that won them top three rankings in major domestic metal magazines. Now the highly anticipated follow-up Fatale arrives, another hypnotic, catchy affair for those who love a mix of 70’s/80’s guitar-driven heaviness along with gothic/haunting vocal melodies that conjure up a wide array of darker, thoughtful influences.
The mesmerizing riffs swirl around equally intoxicating rhythm section passages that contain a driving force at varying paces – easily able to gallop in a cultural context for “Prince of Darkness” while carrying a Celtic triplet dalliance musically for personal favorite “Prometheus Unbound”. Occasional progressive textures intertwine against the traditional, classic dual guitar parts that fill the sonic landscape – “Ionean Sea” the best sample of this activity in action, drummer Aleister Präkelt using nifty cymbal / tom juggling mechanisms to accelerate a shuffling groove nature to his style that’s hard to resist. “The Requiem” is an acoustic instrumental piece that provides the listener a quieter diversion before the epic, mid-tempo battle cry “Between the Worlds” emerges, the riffing plus counterpoint circular runs evoking the best of Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, or Tribulation. Where this band stands out apart from the masses is the unique, almost bone-chilling vocal delivery out of Ricardo. The expressions of darkness and despair drip through his confident multi-octave range – much like Unto Others, yet also conveying the best of Peter Steele or King Diamond right away through opener “In Tartarus” into the old school barnburner “Stars Guide My Way”.
Currently taking mainland Europe by storm as they capture legions on the live touring/festival front, The Night Eternal deserve accolades for their seamless blend of traditional heavy metal with gothic/darker flavors and making it all their own this early in a fruitful career. Fatale will be a record that appears on numerous best of the year lists – as the future looks quite bright for these gentlemen if they keep the attention to killer songwriting/ execution top of mind.