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With the 2008 release of their self-titled EP, Eibon undeniably captured my attention. Their brand of blackened sludge had developed impressively from the earlier Thou
-like vibe that was apparent on their debut release (a split with Hangman’s Chair) and the two songs on the EP gave a good indication of the band’s future potential.
Though Entering Darkness
clearly follows a line of descent from the EP, it was hard to envision that they could improve so dramatically between releases. The 6 tracks on Eibon’s debut LP are fundamentally sludge songs, but eschew the dirty fuzz of bands like Grief
, focusing more on a dark atmosphere and an interchange between melodic and heavy passages. There is almost a post-metal vibe to Entering Darkness
, but not in the way you think – Eibon take their music to another level but without restricting themselves in the way most post-metal bands do.
Perhaps the best comparison for Entering Darkness
would be the Coffinworm
album released earlier this year. It was also a blackened sludge record, but distinct from Entering Darkness
in that it was not so much focused on atmosphere as it was on riffs. If anything, I prefer Entering Darkness for the longevity that it holds – the composition of the tracks and album as a whole is top-notch, and so the replay value here is huge. Furthermore, it’s not a hugely technical album and thus is rather easy to appreciate, but its strength as a cohesive record keeps it from becoming boring.
What really sets Entering Darkness
apart is the dark and tangible ‘necrotic’ tone it exudes, from all musical facets. The vocals are slightly high-register, the melodies are sinister, and the heavier sections are as morbid as I’ve heard in a long time. ‘These Chains’ even sounds similar to something like Adversarial
at times, if that gives any indication to the direction in which Eibon have taken their blackened sludge. This is a mere testament to the band’s ability to incorporate various moods and styles into their music without losing the ‘it’ which keeps it inherently ‘Eibon’.
While the album came out some months ago and has already made a bit of a splash on the scene, it’s well worth discovering or revisiting. The great thing about Entering Darkness
is that it can appeal to an underground fan base but is made in such a way as to enable those with a more casual approach to metal to enjoy as well. It’s definitely one of the better records I’ve encountered this year, and it’s something I’m happy to have in my CD collection as I can see myself spinning it regularly.