In terms of death metal typically the United
States of America and the Europeans are given the most credit for their bands. However, I think that in Australia some of the unknown gems in the underground scene could give even the best of international death metal bands a run for their money, Eternal Rest
is one such band. Hailing from Brisbane Australia their formulation of old school death metal defined with a modern twist and well organized/thought out song writing, makes Eternal Rest
one of the underdogs in the death metal scene. Although there are many bands out there who do combine an old school death metal sound with modern applications, there is just something about the execution of Prophetic
which really makes Eternal Rest
stand that little bit higher.
Now like many old school death metal bands, the style of death metal played by Eternal Rest
is very subtle, which places the sheer intensity and brutality of music in the background, this leaves all that atmospheric sludginess and thickness in the foreground. As a result, Prophetic
has a very dark and smoggy overtone to it (which only emphasizes its old school implications). I really do appreciate the level at which they have put this “smogginess” in their music because I find that many of the newer OSDM bands try too hard to sound dark and evil that the level of thickness in their music takes over the rest of the music and renders it cumbersome. The level of old school vibe in Prophetic
is just right. What Eternal Rest
have created here is a very clear and pure sounding piece of death metal which does not reek of unnecessary contaminations.
Instrumentally, Eternal Rest
is quite average. I appreciate that it takes quite a lot of skill to create death metal which sounds half decent (and this death metal is well past that), however there is nothing that my ear can catch which makes me think “oh wow, he’s going to be the next *insert your favorite metal musician here* for sure”. The guitar work, although very quick and technical here and there, never really take center stage at any time throughout Prophetic
. However, I think that the distortion of the guitar tones are spot on considering the primary objective of the music. The vocals, well, to be frank, are nothing special at all. Yeah, he can growl like any other death metal vocalist, his highs might fall short of being truly called “highs” but that’s not really a big deal in OSDM and doesn’t take away from the music quality whatsoever. In terms of complexity and skillfulness I think that the drumming stands out ever so slightly in front of everything else. The blast beats are consistent throughout the whole album and the timing of each beat is almost perfect. There are times where the sheer technicality of the drumming boggles my mind (yes that’s a good thing) however this is expected in death metal.
Although in terms of individual performance Eternal Rest
have not really strutted their stuff in Prophetic
, it’s not enough to condemn this band to a universal notion of “generic” because after all, this is a band and not a battle of individuals. It is because of this I think that Prophetic
is slightly better than your average death metal band. The cohesion between all the band members and decent song writing skills is something that you just don’t see so often anymore. Although there are a variety of different passages and tempo changes in Prophetic
, at no point do I feel that a certain instrument is lagging behind or whose tone is juxtaposed with the rest of the music (this results in the music given and off-feeling and makes it sound odd to listen to). Everything fits in where it’s supposed to, generating the right sounds for the music. Yeah sure, the band members independently sound average in Prophetic
, but the band as a whole definitely have great song writing potential and I think that potential is yet to be fulfilled.
There is one thing that really annoys me about old school death metal sometimes, and unfortunately it’s something that Eternal Rest
have adopted in Prophetic
and that is the tendency to lose momentum through flat spots. For some reason, I don’t know if it’s me missing something from the music personally but I found that there were a lot of holes in some of the tracks in Prophetic
. Although there is definitely some genius songwriting going on here as displayed in some of the tracks, there are also times where I find myself wondering if they’re just playing a certain passage for the sake of extending a songs length by adding fillers (just music to pass the time that do not contribute to any kind of track development). I have no problem with adding fillers, it’s a great way of disguising transitions whist keeping the momentum rolling, however many of the fillers in Prophetic
were just downright boring. They slowed the music right down and degenerated most of the soundscapes that took a whole song to build up. As a result, I found myself enjoying more of the shorter tracks than the ones which are lengthier. That
being said, ironically I was quite fond of the track that gives the album’s title “Prophetic
” which also happens to be longest on the album. It stood out purely because it had song development which made sense and actually lead to something which is enough to make it the standout track in this album.
I did think that they could have introduced a little more to the music in terms of variety, because it was all relatively linear throughout the whole album; blast beats, screams, distorted guitars, more blast beats, more screams… you get my point. I would have perhaps liked to see more of the acoustic guitars involved in the songs (which could be a reason why I liked the track Prophetic
so much), because they added an extra dimension to their music and momentarily directed my focus away from the death metal to give me a bit of a breather. Although adding acoustic guitars in every single track in Prophetic
probably would have not made this a perfect album, I did find that the tracks which did see an acoustic involvement to be less tedious to listen to. What I did like about the acoustic guitars however is how they conformed to overall direction of the music (sounding dark and mysterious) which didn’t juxtapose itself, so that’s a plus.
Overall, Eternal Rest
are only beginning to stretch their legs with their first full length release Prophetic
. I see potential for a really well rounded old school death metal band in the making (they are still relatively young) and I see this in some of the more highlighting tracks; Preaching The Decimation
Of Spheres, Prophetic
and Remnants. I highly recommend any kind of death metal (especially old school death metal) fans to go and check out, they’re all quality. However, the flat spots and lack of progression in many of the songs tend to let this albums down. Prophetic
was indeed quite a cumbersome experience in terms of how it held my interest and me wondering “oh boy, not another OSDM band again”. That
being said, it’s the three tracks that I’ve mentioned above and a sense of band cohesion which resonates from Eternal Rest
that tends to lift them up above your average OSDM. I give Eternal Rest
a 13/20. I’m very curious where they’ll take their development in their next release because if they keep producing tracks like the album’s title Prophetic
, we could have something pretty decent in our hands.