Sunday, March 7, 2004

Review: Eternal Sorrow - Legacy (2003)

Eternal Sorrow [ MySpace ]

Hailing from Brazil, Eternal Sorrow is a Doom/Death band incorporating elements of early Anathema, My Dying Bride, and Moonspell into their second full-length album Legacy. For the most part, the music is oppressively slow with molasses riffs and frequent use of keyboard atmospherics. Vocalist Julio, who also provides the keys, sings primarily in a raspy Death-ish style but often ventures into a clean, Gothic baritone. This latter style fails to impress me, as he seems to struggle and strain to sustain his notes.

While I'm not a fan of such slow-paced metal, I found Legacy to be more enjoyable than most due to the well-executed keys (particularly on "And The Waters Took My Soul") and the deep riffs from Anderson and Gustavo. Another noteworthy point is how Eternal Sorrow fills the transition points between songs on the album with sound effects of, from what I could tell, a man struggling through the elements to complete some sort of journey. This is certainly something not often heard, and is done quite well for a band only on their second album. Such a technique serves to set the band just a bit apart from others in their genre, which is a good thing.

Although most of the songs tend to follow a common formula of slow-paced Doom, melding together to form an unremarkable listening experience, there were a couple of tracks that stood out and I looked forward to hearing on each spin. The aforementioned "And The Waters Took My Soul" not only contains some deep keyboard moods from Julio, but also an expansive guitar solo that is quite powerful in terms of emotional release. Slow and mournful, it works perfectly to impart the emotion of the song to the listener. The very next track, "Night Veils", introduces a female singer who takes over the lead from Julio and delivers a memorable performance. Unfortunately, I do not have any information as to who she is, but her voice blends enchantingly with the distorted riffs and lush keys.

The downside to Legacy is, for me, the sameness of the majority of songs. The between-song fills aside, there's just not much to distinguish one track from another except in the examples I mentioned earlier. However, if you're a fan of music that inspires a lapse into total despair then Eternal Sorrow has created an atmosphere conducive to your desires. Additionally, Julio has a difficult time with the clean vox and should remain in the more extreme territory that he's comfortable with. Incorporating the female vocals more would also serve to increase variety. All in all, the band is talented and has a ton of potential which they should use it to forge their own musical identity.

Track Listing
1 Ashes
2 To Perpetuate My Distance
3 Dunes
4 And The Waters Took My Soul
5 Night Veils
6 Worry
7 Ammanda Thase
8 Shroud
9 The Last Rain

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