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More death than black - 75%

stonedjesus, March 20th, 2006

A Darker Monument (2003):

What he have here is a more polished and succinct Aeternus overall. Shorter songs and sharper production. Admittedly a lot of the droning nuances and folkish/epic melodies of Aeternus' early career are just about gone... Instead the guitarists churn out a decidedly more death metal style of riffing. A style that is, thankfully, still far from your typical retarded blasting Brutal Death bands out there. Not being familiar with the predecessor "Ascension of Terror" I can't really say wether or not this shift in style is unique to this release. Regardless, I enjoyed the shift in style overall. From the crawling basslines of "Slavestate" to the stomping push of "Darkstorm" and almost doomish riffs of "Genocide Delight" the songs are seperate but also blend together well, albeit without the same tangible atmosphere you'd find on thier first three albums. It's not the most fair comparison I could make, but no doubt the band as taken one or two queues from the popularity of bands like Nile. I guess that is a bit of an insult... but this is FAR more listenable. The vocals do a lot to distract from the sometimes repetetive riffing, and are in fact well done and somewhat varied. Guitar solos pop up here and there, (Sons of War a favorite of mine) overall decent leads that fit the songs. The same could be said for the bass, maintaining a low rumble throughout, but occasionally coming afront a bit (The Trident, Slavestate). Drumming is solid/varied overall, well produced.

Aeternus is, in my opinion, one of the better Black/Death metal hybrids out there today and this is a fine release. Regardless of how much this doesn't sound like Aeternus' earlier material, it is still quite heavy and well done black/death metal.