Eternity Of Shaog

Anmeldt av Eddie Rattlehead
(I, Voidhanger Records, 2020)

Karakter: 4.5/6

Esoctrilihum_EternityOfShaog.jpgFinally, the French multi-instrumental vocalist known only by an esoteric moniker Asthâghul, who alone is Esoctrilihum, created something worth spinning more than twice with the listener not merely noticing but actually enjoying the hooks. And it's only been 3 years since the beginning, "Mystic Echo From A Funeral Dimension" (2017), which was followed by my point of introduction to the "band", "Pandaemorthium (Forbidden Formulas To Awaken the Blind Sovereigns of Nothingness)" (2018) which I reviewed here (4/6). "Inhüma", released the same year (!) even though it was hardly shorter, was a downgrade, especially in production sometimes bordering on unlistenable. My esteemed colleague Trygve Grundvik reviewed "The Telluric Ashes of the Ö Vrth Immemorial Gods" (2019) which did not inspire me to reach for it, but when I received promo alert for this, the 5th album, I grabbed it instinctively expecting improvements.

And rightly so for Asthâghul incorporated more gothic a'la Paradise Lost to compliment his black/death framework. The short opener, "Orthal" already teases with the richness of melody and instrumentation, but the excellent "Exh-Enî Söph (1st Passage: Exiled From Sanity)", invites further communion, strongly recalling Theatre Of Tragedy's "Aegis". Esoctrilihum amazes with both atmospherics and Dimmu Borgir-ian black married to Nile-ish death with plenty of melody and balance, while the closer "Monotony of a Putrid Life In The Eternal Nothingness" recalls Hypocrisy from "The Final Chapter" and the eponymous.

A few tracks have excellent vibes but could be better, such as the heavily Paradise Lost-ic "Aylowenn Aela (3rd Passage: The Undying Citadel)" with fantastic vocal-violin interplay or the weird "Amenthlys (5th Passage: Through the Yth-Whtu Seal)" reminiscent of early Solefald and Therion. The length is also an issue, 62 minutes of extreme metal with plenty of material to cut, such as the unnecessary near-instrumental Shtg (4th Passage - Frozen Soul) or the extremely monotonous Namhera (7th Passage: Blasphemy of Ephereàs).

Esoctrilihum is getting better and more interesting though not necessarily shorter. To its strength is diversity and the more gothic influences as well as the best production so far achieved without ruining to excellent cavernous atmosphere. Finally, the compositions are not nearly as overwhelming as on, say, "Inhüma". All this contributes to an inviting experience which I recommend.


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05.07.2020: ARABS IN ASPIC - Madness and Magic
04.07.2020: AIRBAG - A Day at the Beach
03.07.2020: LAMB OF GOD - Lamb of God
02.07.2020: COULDRON BLACK RAM - Slaver
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26.06.2020: DAVE BALL - Electronic Boy: My Life in and out of Soft Cell
25.06.2020: INTEGRAL RIGOR - Fallen/Brain Blind/Alast
24.06.2020: SOLEMNITY - Through Endless Darkness
23.06.2020: VEGA - Grit Your Teeth
22.06.2020: SPARAGMOS - Invitation From The Host Of Wrath/Mortal Organic Remains
20.06.2020: LESSER GLOW - Nullity
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17.06.2020: PARALYSIS - Mob Justice