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First thing I have to note in this review: What the hell is going on with those female vocals? It's fucking strange. They are a nice touch but still what the fuck? I think they're a bit too much in the title-track, but they are still really fucking good, and a nice, original twist and reminds me of Celtic Frost.
Second thing I have to note: Eulogy ARE Morbid Angel. Really. They are more Morbid Angel than Hate Eternal, Nocturnus, Bloodbath and modern-day Morbid Angel put together. Hell, I think they may just be more Morbid Angel than old school Morbid Angel! This is good, because I like Morbid Angel. A lot. Seriously, the riffs, the solos, the vocals. All Morbid Angel. They seperate the wheat from the chaff, filtering only good Morbid Angel into their music. No stupid bonus "lavas", no pointless interludes, no self-help nonsense, no woeful productions, nothing like this. They take all the good parts of MA and work with it, adding a black metal charm and some odd time signatures.
Highlights? Well, they all are, but the title-track would have to be the weakest track of the lot. Entombed by Belief is a short, sharp shock, which is to the point and precise, and is my definite favourite. Consecration of Fools starts out with pure Deicide worship, and features some very Chris Barnes moments of vocals. It's like a mixture of all the other old-school US death metal into one song and is close runner-up.
The closest I can put this to is if MA recorded Altars of Madness with the modern day line-up featuring the guy from Zyklon, it would probably sound like this. It's Morbid Angel with a black metal tinge and some experimental timing, along with the odd Celtic Frost-style female vocals. This is very good, I really like it, and would recommend it to anyone who prefers real, old school death metal which isn't "br00thuls" or overtly-technical. If you are a big MA fan, you need this in your life.
Eulogy's only label released offering; The Essence, reminds me a lot of Morbid Angel. Well, a better Morbid Angel. Eulogy go beyond the strangeness of Morbid Angel, pushing death metal to new heights without going all out brutal.
The first thing I noticed about The Essence was the female choir vocals in the background. Quite a strange addition, but it certainly doesn't take away from the title track. Driving tremolo riffs add a nice rhythm to the songs, with the occasional interruption for a scream or short drum roll. A mild guitar solo here and there adds a nice flare as well. Clayton Gore really displays his talents on the kit, going from blastbeats to unusual tempos to drums rolls, all without straying into the realm of percussion wankery.
Jason Avery is definitely an underrated vocalist, and performs excellently on all four tracks. His hollow growls sound like a cave beast, while his screams sound truly terrifying.
If you're a fan of the non-brutal league of death metal, you'll most likely swallow this up. Go download it and bang away!