Sunday, January 19, 2014
Eryn Non Dae – Meliora
I remember listening to the first album from this band and being very impressed. I might have written a review of it, and if I was better organized I would know for sure, but that's kind of the story of my life. Along comes album #2, and it is very, very good. These guys definitely swim in the same pool as Neurosis and Isis, with a lot of the dramatic changes in dynamics within songs, and the epic song lengths. If you are a fan of those bands you will truly dig this, but there is also enough of this band's individuality that shines through to take this far beyond just copying other bands' style.
These guys hail from France. I have professed my vast love of French black metal many times before, and while this is definitely not black metal, I will add them to the list of French things I love. There are 7 tracks on this album and each of them is very good in its own way. The general groove of the band is there so that you know its the same band performing each song, but the songs stand out individually, and that is not always easy to do when you have long tracks like this.
Album opener “Chrysalis” starts out quiet, setting an atmosphere, and then you get that sudden dynamic shift to a band that is blazing away with all barrels. The second track, “The Great Downfall”, is similar in composition, although the raging parts are a little ragey-er. It is on the next 3 tracks of the album where Eryn Non Dae's personality starts to shine through. “Scarlet Rising” starts off at full blast, no easing into this one. And whatever sub-genre you want to lump these guys into, these 3 middle tracks show some tastes of death and black metal and the unique way this band melds those styles to create their own. “Scarlet Rising” also has the very memorable lyric, “The more you do/The more I despise you”. Not going into any details, but I bet a lot of us know someone to whom that couplet would apply.
Song 4, “Ignitus”, is, well, ignited right from the start as well. This is another track that shows the band's versatility within all the different styles of metal. Very nicely done, this one. “Muto”, the 5th track, just blasts off to infinity and beyond from the very first note and completes this middle part of the album quite well.
“Black Obsidian Pyre” is an aptly titled track. The music and vocalizations conjure up the title, and the things that might go on at such a pyre. This one features some nice black and evil sounding touches. There's a return here to the abrupt dynamic changes, but they do it right and it fits the song perfectly. I know I keep mentioning that, because a lot of bands try it, and only a few get it right. Eryn Non Dae are one of those. Then we wrap things up with “Hidden Lotus”. This one hits like a pile driver to the sternum and is a nice, heavy way to put an end to the album.
This is a band I would really like to check out live. I know a lot of these European bands don't make it to the US, but I would love to see this all performed in front of me. Don't sleep on this one, these guys are really good.