The Swedish metal band Eternal Evil conjure the spirit of Old School Metal on its sophomore effort, The Gates Beyond Mortality. The haunting opening chords of “Depths of a New Eternity” set a dark tone, but offer merely a glimpse of the impending metal assault. The next track “Guerilla Warfare” proves a more proper introduction as it a full on thrash attack. Guitarists Tobias Lindstrom and Adrian Tobar, who is also the vocalist, unleash intricate, baroque riffs that heighten the menacing tone of the track. Adam Schmidt is a drumming machine that rarely relents during the track’s duration.
The title track is a more progressive affair with a galloping tempo that feels like a ship sailing during a storm. The rhythm section of Schmidt and bassist Niklas Saari drive this song forward while Lindstrom and Tobar again showcase amazing guitar work, particularly during the track’s second half. The quartet speeds things back up on “Funeral Prayers.” In fact, this track builds up during the first 30 seconds before letting loose. The gothic, baroque guitar riffs stand out yet again and just create frantic, yet gothic atmosphere.
“The Astral Below” begins with clean, melancholy guitars suddenly joined by drums that creates an uneasy build-up before the tempo picks up. This six-minute song recalls King Diamond based on its structure and lyrical content. “Immolation” is just a speed demon that feels like Slayer and Sodom combined to cause an explosion. The punk drumming and guitar fills make this another top notch track.
The Gates Beyond Mortality is notable for the band high level musicianship and song writing. The album flows seamlessly and there is very little drag. Eternal Evil are not just copying the old school thrash and NWOBHM bands. It is instead extracting bits and pieces from everywhere fusing it to great effect. The band also injects a small dose of black metal to spice things up, like on the track “Signs of Ancient Sin.” The production has that vintage sound with modern production that makes the album all the more enjoyable.
Eternal Evil have crafted an excellent record with The Gates Beyond Mortality. There is no sophomore slump here as the band firmly establishes itself as one of the best new thrash bands out there. I highly recommend this album to metalheads in general. Heed the call of evil and pick this record up.
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