Eternal Black – Eternal Black (Obsidian Sky Records, 30 June 2015)
Eternal Black – Bleed the Days (Obsidian Sky Records, CD/cassette/digital 08 August 2017, vinyl 04 February 2018)
Is it just me or has this week been dragging on way too long — like, excruciatingly, brain-deadeningly long? Just me? Ok. In any case, I feel like I need a break from anything that requires too much thinking. So I’m going to take a moment and share some music with you.
This is coming courtesy of old-school stoner/doom trio Eternal Black from Brooklyn. We’ll start with their self-titled debut EP from a few summers ago, and follow that with their first full-length which came out last year but just recently got pressed to vinyl for the first time (all via the band’s own Obsidian Sky label). Hope you enjoy it.
“Stoner metal” as a general concept has always seemed like a contradiction in terms: metal by its nature is hard and heavy, aggressive and angry, but the “stoner” aspect is associated with being laid-back and mellow; metal is dark and cold but “stoner metal” is fuzzy and warm. Still, somehow it manages to work. Eternal Black‘s EP definitely embraces this contradiction and runs with it. Almost entirely slow and laid-back, completely fuzzed out, but also heavy as hell and crushingly crunchy like nobody’s business from top to bottom, these three songs (17-1/2 minutes total) exhibit a mellowness, conciseness, and subtle catchiness that will definitely appeal to fans of any band Wino has ever been in. (So, at least like 38% of the doom bands out there, right?)
The Bleed the Days LP (seven songs clocking in at just over 46 minutes) takes that basic idea and then expands in all directions quite nicely. Rather than falling into the all-too-common trap of a monotonous, one-note album where each song is basically a clone of the last, here is a band that (thankfully) isn’t afraid to vary things up a bit — both musically and vocally.
While there’s still plenty of Obsessed and Vitus worshipping to be found, a few notable highlights include the bass-driven “Snake Oil and Coffin Nails” with gravelly singing above riffs halfway between “Wicked World” and “Albatross“; the interlude track “Into Nothing” with its ethereal sounds and vintage-blues-reverb western-soundtrack-style guitar; and
“Stained Eyes on a Setting Sun” whose vocal melody (and phrasing) and excellent doomy riffs come across very Gates of Slumber sounding.
You can stream or download both releases right now, using the Bandcamp players below. As of the time of this writing, the Bleed the Days cassettes are all gone, but the CD or vinyl (in standard or “die-hard” editions) are still available right here.
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