Review Summary: one of the best modern examples of truly atmospheric Doom Metal
EA are the sort of dark and ever so Metal band that really take the kvlt factor and up it to about a hundred percent in their image. This is a band that are so mysterious they don't even have a proper website about themselves, we have no idea how many band members are involved in this simply gargantuan release, never mind what any of them would be called; even the band's name, cryptically christened EA, bears no real meaning, much like the album title and the tracks that it contains. So with all this, EA basically leave the music to do all (and I mean, all) the talking, and does it manage it?
You're damn right it does. Contained within “II” are forty-seven minutes of despairingly dark and emotion Funeral Doom Metal that never once lets off the atmosphere. It's a bleak, ancient feel that swallows you whole before you've even realised. Even though it's only two tracks (both being untitled and over twenty minutes long) the choking ambience that surrounds the album constantly engages the listener, and even through its quietest moments the music simply seeps into your subconsciousness, inexplicably drowning every good emotion into a backdrop of black. Without a doubt, EA is one of the best modern examples of truly atmospheric Doom Metal I've heard in a long time.
A variety of instruments including organs, piano's, synths, guitars -acoustic and electric- and deep guttural growling (which can hardly be called vocals as they are mixed so low and really just help pile on top of the atmosphere) are used to further increase the density of the already impenetrable atmosphere, building upon layers and layers of different sonic elements to portray a sense of dread and despair. Intense, almost melodic guitar leads often lead the way through several layers of ambience created by epic synths and beautiful keyboard lines, while other times it's all pure ambience as the percussion come to a stop, and nothing remains but the dull lull of the keyboards and synths (often permeated by the presence of a more sinister quality, such as the subdued sound of a heartbeat slowing to a stop, or the simple drip drop of water in the background, all adding to the cinematic quality of the music) before eventually erupting back into the stride of the full on Doom Metal.
For a release that doesn't really vary it's pace or dynamics all that much (at least not beyond the ambience – Doom Metal – ambience, formula) “II” is constantly engaging and feels surprisingly fresh throughout it's entire running time. It has a cinematic and bombastic feel despite being despairingly bleak and endlessly dark. For a band who seem to want to refuse acknowledgement for this release, EA have created a near masterpiece within Funeral Doom Metal. “II” is an album that simply drowns the listener in a ridiculously sombre and dense atmosphere, it's almost torture in it's bleakest form to listen to, but I wouldn't have it any other way.