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Carnival is Flashdrive - 45%

GuntherTheUndying, November 3rd, 2011

Eternal Gray will forever be known as "that one band that released their album on a flash drive." Yes, this puppy was originally distributed on a flash drive with the album's music files and extra content; that is, before Seasons of Mist released the CD physically nearly a year after its original release. While the history of "Your Gods, My Enemies" is certainly unique and interesting, the music is sadly quite vapid and lacking. Eternal Gray churns out a somewhat colorful style of death metal that includes algebra-busting dissonant guitar doodling in the vein of Gojira or Meshuggah mixed and matched with the brutality and instrumental themes of Decapitated or another seminal faction shaping the world of modern death metal. Unfortunately, as the record coils on, it encounters a problem even the most technical chops can't shake: boredom.

As a side note, I finally checked out Decapitated's return album "Carnival is Forever," and Eternal Gray is the first band that I thought of. Decipher that as an insult or compliment based on your musical preferences, because the similarities between Eternal Gray and "Carnival is Forever" are almost mirror-like: there are several dissonant and technical guitar riffs, unpredictable tempos, aggressive vocals, blast beats, and brutal beatings all around. The opening "Lost Control" takes the listener through a cloudy storm of eerie riffs circumventing into mega-guttural vocals and hypersonic percussion often demonstrated in the sector of modern death metal; however, this track does little to feasibly represent Eternal Gray's music, other than the technical tornado. "Controlled" and the forgettable "Black Prophecy" plod on in similar fashion, both acting totally forgettable and void of anything above average.

Keep in mind there is nothing conventional about Eternal Gray's take on death metal; they are certainly unique, but I'm beginning to think trading the life and soul of the music for technical weirdness and rhythmic anomalies was not a wise decision. The riffs blend together, the rhythms struggle to explode, and the memorable aspects of "Your Gods, My Enemies" are suppressed on a massive scale. Just look at the vocals: nothing but the same monotone growl over and over again. That's it. So in case you aren't getting the picture, many things are said on the musical end, but so very few are actually translated into something cohesive or flexible. The band occasionally strengthens the otherwise redundant motions during the title track and "Unlabeled," both of which act decently, but again, where's the beef?

Oddly enough, the bonus track (an electronic version of the closing "Never Waits") is actually a really clever staple of female vocals and weird, spacey sounds, which brighten up the album a smidge. It may sound like I totally panned the piss out of this record, but it really isn’t a complete platter of crap, just painfully mediocre and tepid. Sadly, the instrumental precision and dynamic philosophy of Eternal Gray cannot find a successful medium to truly channel the death metal madness into something appropriate or individualistic, and “Your Gods, My Enemies” significantly suffers from this stale embodiment of stagnate technicality. Maybe check this out if you like Decapitated or whatever, but I'm overall fairly unimpressed with Eternal Gray and especially this inadequate album.

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