AETERNUS - Dark Sorcery (HAMMERHEART - CD 1997)
If I was going to name Norwegian bands, with the most distinguished, original sound and style, then I would definitely mention among them. They were (and still are, actually) completely different to all other bands from Norge and despite being formed in the golden era of Norwegian black metal, they never had much in common with the likes of , , Emperor or Immortal. Which did not prevent them from being an important part of the scene! And that makes me think why the hell it feels like they are so underrated and almost forgotten nowadays?
Anyway, music was always very original and interesting. And it was such from their very first recording - which is amazing, I think! You could listen to a small part of their music and you'll immediately know that this is Aeternus playing, because there have never been another band, which would sound alike. I have to admit that I enjoy all albums, but my favourites are those early recordings, especially "Dark Sorcery" EP, which is so fuckin awesome piece of music. Maybe one of the reasons why I enjoy it a bit more is the fact that it's a shorter recording (27 minutes of music on the digipack edition, which I own), so it is easier to get into. music can sometimes feel a bit monotonous, as they often put songs through similar kind of slow-paced tempo, with that harsh, yet incredibly heavy riffage and monstrous, deep growl of Ares. So, it works the best on shorter recordings. And as such, "Dark Sorcery" is close to perfection, with no weak parts at all.
style of music is something between black metal - with that dark, very epic and monumental sound, slightly alike to bands such as Hades maybe, yet very different at the same time - and death metal, with that massive sound, overwhelming crushing heaviness and very deep growl of Ares, who sounds like he was summoning gods in the battlefield frenzy, not just "singing" some words. Riffs are quite special here, and I have to say that I love how combines their heavy nature with a bit of majestic melody and sometimes even folky tunes. If you listen to these songs carefully then you will immediately recognize great potential and fantastic atmosphere, which this music brings. Yes, monumental, epic, war-like and truly destructive. It may feel slightly one dimensional in the beginning, but it's still very exciting and inspiring stuff, especially if you listen to such fantastic, thunderous tracks like "Raven and Blood" or "Victory". Their music has all these little details, like melodic bits, acoustic guitar parts, howling vocals, which gives even more impressive result. Absolutely essential part of the Norwegian metal scene, in my opinion. So, if you don’t know them, then check out now.
Standout tracks: "Raven and Blood", "Victory"