Even as a big fan of Symphonic Metal, it’s not easy to keep track of all the active bands of the genre nowadays. Yes, there are SO many. And AETERNITAS is another one of them.
(Gothic) Symphonic Metal by AETERNITAS
It still came as a little surprise to find out that the German band AETERNITAS have been making music since 1999 and their discography contains concept albums and a recording of their own Metal Musical “Rappacinis Tochter”. The musical was performed between 2008 and 2011 – how did I not know about this?!
The band’s 4th full length production is another concept album, which has been in the works since 2012 and revolves around Edgar Allan Poe’s 1839 short story “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Poe’s work gives the name not only to the album and title track, but also to other songs such as ‘Roderick’ and ‘Madeline’, who are important characters in the story.
The title track officially opens the record, with a strong SIRENIA -influence, which is also recognisable on the orchestral arrangements of ‘Fear’. In ‘Roderick’ singer Oliver Bandmann plays the role of Roderick Usher from a first person perspective and the lyrics tell the listener about the character’s anxiety. Something similar happens, as expected, with the song ‘Madeline’ that deals with Roderick’s twin sister and her illness, which causes her to go into catatonic, deathlike sleeps. From her perspective, the song’s lyrics express Madeline coming into terms with death but fearing for her sick brother.
Edgar Allan Poe’s work made metal.
As the album becomes exploring with the narrative, more sounds are incorporated not only in matters of instruments and songwriting, but also vocally. ‘Tears’ for instance, the both singers Oliver Bandmann and Alma Mathar throw other styles of singing into the mixture, topping it all with ethereal choirs and gothic keyboards at the beginning. After that however, the album becomes somewhat repetitive.
The release features big names in the production team, including FIREWIND’s Henning Basse as vocal producer, which evoked high expectations on the album. Well, I am personally not impressed by the vocals in the album and would say in general that the record is kind of average among a sea of bombastic Symphonic Metal.
I would go as far as to say that it’s not an album I would play to listen in the background while doing something else. AETERNITAS’ “House Of Usher” is an album to focus on, while reading Poe’s short story of the same name or in another way immersing yourself into this narration. Or maybe if the band would be willing to put out videos or movies for every song, so that we get the whole experience.
Check out the album teaser:
AETERNITAS – “House Of Usher” Tracklist:
- Le Coeur
- House Of Usher
- The Prophecy
- Forbidden Love
- The Haunted Palace
- Buried Alive
- Can You Hear The Demons 12. The Fall
- Falling Star
- Open Your Eyes
Watch the lyric video for the album’s ballad ‘Madeline’:
What do you think of AETERNITAS and “House Of Usher”? Leave us a comment!