Spain’s Eternal Storm are one of these bands that excel in this game of the protracted flow. Their offering somehow feels like a river of metal and not-so-metal sounds that coasts by majestically on its mid-tempo currents. Like so much metal flotsam in the remnants of a dreaded hurricane.
The band’s new record also is one of these mysteries. Multiple times I started their debut record Come The Tide for a thorough listen. And boom, the record just ended.
This made me wonder what part of this infamous reality of the matrix really failed me. Some sort of dimensional digression or something. One cookie too many perhaps, offered by the grandmotherly agent of the powers at work.
In reality, this kind of thing often comes to pass the moment we have a lack of quality. With the tune on offer not really being absolutely awful, but just boring enough to disintegrate into background music.
But Come The Tide – for sure – gets us no bad quality, take my word for it.
Far from it, actually. This is one of these records that lets you quietly delve into this complex soundscape and let it wash all over you. A bit like those trance sessions atop a tidal wave of sound that it so readily depicts. A submarine going full immersion, down into that very special Mariana Trench that Eternal Storm so artfully created.
We now could go easy and call all of this Melodic Death Metal and be done with it. A style that indeed serves as the underlying vibe of sorts. Truly, you’ll find quite a few of its mechanisms in there. Those that Insomnium and – perhaps – Opeth so readily display at times. Like their effortless switch to clear voice.
But this is not a simple death metal piece. Instead, the band wrapped their tune around a number of distinct flavors that range from dark, growly metal to ambient acoustics. And all of that is artfully mixed into a juicy cocktail that is just irresistible.
Come The Tide is a difficult listen too. One that has this tendency to usurp your attention for periods longer than you intended. But if you are strapped for time, just try the two parts of Through the Wall of Light for a first taste. Those pretty much cover the essence of the record.
But for all of the others, I would advise digging deeper. Because you will find those jewels in there that positively shine. For instance, I’ll never quite get enough of the truly blackened tremolo-laden piece The Mountain. A track that finally delivers that red meat on a sizzling platter. Something that somehow wasn’t on full display before.
And once you think you trvly dig the record, Eternal Storm break out their progressive wings even more than before. Chiefly in the second half, the record morphs into something more blackened. A juicy mix of Melodeath, Blackened Death Metal, Post Black Metal, and Progressive Metal. Difficult to explain but expertly served on a platter of exquisite extremes. By Of Winter and Treason, you will know what I mean.
It’s also a hard fact that Come to Tide actually gains maturity, the further the tracklist progresses. With those epic pieces that go beyond 10 minutes, but are never boring and never gripe. Often harsh and sometimes dreamy, and sprinkled with those spicy mid-tempo solos.
In other words, Eternal Storm created a piece that will keep its surface tension and brutal energy to the very end – and beyond. Until you wake up out of your trance and realize that – the record just ended. When the only thing you wanted to do was write that review.
Damn. What can I say? In the end, bands that have the creative loins to present a debut full-length record of such quality are few and far between. True, Eternal Storm already unleashed an EP and a split before, but those pale in comparison to this offering. And – besides – the latter ones more served as warm-up rounds than anything else.
Come The Tide – in a way – boasts that gigantic flow its title suggests. One that is seemingly unstoppable and governed by the moon. A journey of metallic delights, acoustics, and real progressive moments. One that will let you forget this mortal coil for a while and lets you sink into its very own dimension.
An hour of bliss that makes me fear for their sophomore album that is sure to come. Because how on earth they will top that one, I do not know.
Ed’s note: The record successfully made it onto the 2019 Top 10 records. Congrats!