“Ealdfaeder” is the brand new EP from Canadian outfit Éohum, following from their debut album “Revelations, Aurora Of An Epoch” released in April of last year.
Perfectly described as “anthemic groove doom-tinged black metal” by founding member Jeremy Perkins, their sound is a melting pot of raw ferocity, brooding atmosphere and rhythmic complexity. Éohum’s full-time line-up is also completed by French Hornist Annie Perreault, which may seem like an unusual choice, but stick with it, the Horn actually compliments the arrangements very well.
The band have a strong interest in ancestry, heritage and ancient culture and recognise the importance of maintaining social connection and understanding, whilst the very fabric of our modern society is eroding. Regardless of whether or not you agree with the sentiments, it is hugely evident from Ealdfaeder’s lyrics that Éohum are passionate in their beliefs and have serious statements to make.
Having thoroughly enjoyed the EP, I realised early on that I couldn’t just pick a couple of highlight tracks and summarise the rest – so I didn’t…
Ealdfaeder opens with “Eurocide” and it’s clear that Éohum are intent on setting the mood immediately, with the sound of tribalistic drumming and a haunting flute melody. However, like the calm before the storm, the atmosphere soon changes, making way for the driving force behind this opener – primal, earthy Black Metal.
Things get nasty on “Unmasking A World Of Deceit”, highlighted by venomous vocal attacks, rapid-fire percussion and signature black metal guitar riffs. There is a sense of raw energy about the instrumentation and vocals performed with serious conviction, maintaining intensity right up to the blistering, chaotic crescendo.
“Apathetic Plague” is the longest track on the EP, coming close to almost 8 minutes in length and continues in a similar vain to “Unmasking…”, although heavier on the blast-beats, with more prominent French Horn motifs, adding extra dimension to the mournful yet beautiful doom-laden sections.
The final two songs both feature guest drummer Simon McKay of The Agonist, starting with “Ode To A Martyr”, which can be credited as having both mosh-pit potential and being incredibly anthemic in equal measure.
I personally found myself chanting along to the hook-line chorus of “Rewind, remember, that we’ve been led astray” on the second of many play-throughs.
The EP’s final offering is “Curative Undulations”. For the most part this is pure Doom-tinged Black Metal, though it does contain the odd smattering of thrash rhythm and features the first and only spoken word part in the entire recording. It’s as if this is being delivered as a final, defiant statement, intent on punctuating the messages conveyed throughout Ealdfaeder.
One major observation with regards to the entire EP, is that at no point do the individual instruments sound as though they are competing for centre stage.
Ealdfaeder has been carefully crafted and mixed so that each instrument sounds as though it has been given ample room to shine and yet they all blend so naturally together and compliment one another perfectly.
This is an impressive release and I would urge anyone who likes Black Metal and Blackened Doom to give this a listen.
4. Ode To A Martyr
2. Unmasking A World Of Deceit