Having been formed in Bergen, Norway back in 1993 by Ares – Aeternus blended Black Metal with Death Metal to create Dark Metal.
Still boasting the founder on guitars and vocals, the band comprises past and present members of Gorgoroth, Immortal (live) and Gaahls Wyrd, with Gorm on guitar, Eld on bass and Phobos on drums.
As the ninth studio album rumbles into life with the crack of thunder – you feel the gloomy clouds overhead and the atmosphere change as the slow, purposeful pace is led by hypnotising guitars and occasionally the drums erupt and the double kick comes to life, the guitars take a huge breath and expel sounds on a different level and the vocal has that proper Black Metal deep and ferocious feel to.
As the opener closes, you can’t help but wonder where the opening track went as you have been captivated by it. However, fear not – more of this dark wonder will come. Combining quite subtle riffs with sporadic beats and then throwing in some stunning solo work alongside that voice will match the overall haunting feel of what you are listening to. Somehow, this haunting also feels melodic and cathartic – it soothes as it fears. But, be aware – there are the odd explosions into full Black Metal and full Death Metal.
You soon begin to realise that you are progressing through the album quicker than you had realised and may wonder where time has gone to. This is by no means to suggest that there are no standout tracks, just to emphasise the fact that from the off you are likely to be completely unaware of anything other than what you are absorbing through your ears.
The album itself spans approximately 38 minutes and it will feel like far less due to the complete hold it will over you from the off. The seven tracks have a fantastic feel of impending doom and bleakness that you would expect from a Norwegian Dark Metal band. When you combine that with the experience the band have, both as a collective but also with other bands, is there any surprise that it’s this good?
I feel I must admit that I am ashamed to admit I was unaware of Aeternus before hearing this – however, now am off to delve into their back catalogue and lose a lot more of my time in this darkened world.
Philosopher will be released on Friday, November 17th 2023 via Agonia Records.
AETERNUS will hit the road for a European tour with Gorgoroth in November 2023.
1. Existentialist Hunter
2. World Bleak Nepotism
3. The Intentionality of Unitigated Evil
4. Void of Venom
5. Wresting Worm
6. The Luciferian Architect
7. Carving the Pristine Anomie
– Black LP
– Red LP
– Gold LP
– Blood splatter LP
– Gold splatter LP