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The Ultimate Eclipse - 72%

h_clairvoyant, January 4th, 2011

Ecliptic Dawn's first offering to the public, Eternal Night Of Eclipse, came to me claiming that it is the debut of the first Gothic Metal project to hail from Syria, that it fused oriental and extreme elements with the more traditional Gothic style. The first minute or so alone satisfies the latter of the two claims, drawing the listener in with a distinctly Eastern melody and leading them to a rough, growling Gothic Metal track.

It is generally the typical Gothic Metal offering however, despite the rather bold introduction. The guitars drone in the background, mostly just used for ambiance and strength. Melodies are driven either by the soprano vocalist, who certainly delivers with her cold, delicate voice, or by the keyboards. The sound could be related to Vampiria, with a more Eastern style and a less developed or less controlled mindset.

The first two tracks of the four supplied both follow in the same vein, while the third is a haunting, but anti-climactic instrumental with a lightly distorted narration. The fourth track closes the release in a more traditional Gothic Metal sound that could be compared to a number of the earlier artists in the genre. The songs fit well together for the most part, but there are quite a bit of untamed, rather rough-around-the-edges moments within each song.

The quality of the music is very decent in light of how it was created; as stated by the band's official page, there is a lack of interested musicians in Syria, which forced the main-man, "Poet Of Eclipse", to collaborate with session musicians over the internet. Though there is much to be desired production-wise, as an amateur effort created in such a manner, it is a rather impressive quality.

Though it is safe to say that Ecliptic Dawn has a number of elements that it could bring to the Gothic Metal genre, such as its beautiful Eastern melodies and its two satisfying vocalists, there are some significant segments of it that feel a bit recycled. At times it seems sloppy or bland, but the general idea is there. As a debut offering, it is certainly worth looking at, as it is a project that can certainly flourish if refined, but the release on its own is quite a stretch from flawless.etch from flawless.

An international collaboration - 55%

oneyoudontknow, January 2nd, 2011

The Internet has made it possible. Such should the headline of this release be, because it sums up the way this release came into being. While bands in the Middle East struggle to get their art done in an appropriate manner and may be willing to turn to Mr. Computer in order to get some assistance, "Poet Of Eclipse" was able to gather some musicians who were willing to support him in his project. Who these were can be read in the additional notes of this demo at the Metal Archives.

Well, four tracks can be found on Eternal Night of Eclipse and except for the third track – this would be an instrumental – all of these are metal ones. Gothic metal is what the band attempts to play and as such a good amount of symphonic facets, along a combination of male and females vocals, can be identified. As the guitars were performed by the guest musicians, their sound and style is actually not bad, but as they are supported by slightly cheesy keyboards, the overall impression of the sound is a rather ambivalent one. Furthermore, the drum-computer does have no positive effect on how the music is perceived as well. Everything sounds a bit too controlled and without emotion. This is by no means limited to the vocals and their impact on the performance, but the way the growls appear and also their style is a bit tiring. So, while some ideas are actually not bad, Ecliptic Dawn is never really able to ignite a spark. Eternal Night of Eclipse is a nice demo and a solid start but nothing more. You can listen to it now and then, but do not expect it to make you sit in awe.

The bottom line of this release would the following:
While the music is well crafted in general and pretty listenable, it lacks a bit of fascination as well as surprising moments.

(edit1: one small edit, as requested by the band)