Review Summary: Eternal Elysium is truly a prodigal son of the riff-land.
Eternal Elysium is a Stoner/Doom metal band coming from Japan, they are a basic power trio with guitar, bass and drums while the guitarist also deliver the vocals. If I had to say some influences this guys have, the first one would be, of course, Black Sabbath and the second I just cannot say Led Zeppelin.
Well, in a world so full of bands of the Doom/Stoner harvest doing generically the same thing (with a big range of Tony Iommi idolaters trying to make those evil riffs with doses of oomph) how a band as Eternal Elysium submerges? I tell you: this is catchy as ***, it is groovy as hell, and this guitarist is just a riff machine.
What first called my attention to Eternal Elysium is how it is very heavy, and yet, at the same time never sounds too much extreme for just a fun listen. The guitar is sure very distorted and the riffs are nothing like a simple hard rock effort. My explication for this sense of lightness and heaviness combined so well is that those guys really take serious their influences. By that I mean: they are not trying to mimic the rock and roll Sabbath and Zeppelin already did, but they are taking serious what make those bands so singular in rock and they are bringing these things together in an almost genius way. Led Zeppelin always took a way of doing light and heavy themes at the same time, “Stairway to heaven” is certainly the most famous example of how a rock anthem can be light without losing the sense of weight. Black Sabbath, is known for bringing a sense of slowness in their songs, which is truly the father of every doom metal in this world. These characteristics are certainly present in Eternal Elysium, in its own way.
If you want to listen just a song that could show in a few minute what Is all about, take the second one “Splendid, Selfish Woman”, it starts very groovy with a hard adrenalin feel, the verse riff is another example of how it can carry your senses in a light trip of flying in heaviness. It's catchy, groovy, heavy, with psychedelic moments and a fast strong end, it's very well fit together.
When listening to Eternal Elysium it's possible to headbang hardly, like in “Floating Downer” first riff, and then you can trip in inspired jamming sessions like if it is the time to bang your brain istead of your head alone. In the same song you got psychedelic vibes, nostalgic 70'' themes and heaviness the are not very far for some of the lightest Electric Wizard moments.
The weakest part of that album is the vocals, I do not know what other listeners think, but I just cannot understand what he is talking about, but I am sure that is still English. However, I have to point out that the vocals are not the worst ones in the world, there are a few moments in the album that they almost shine actually, like the fore-mentioned “Splendid, Selfish Woman” and in “What a Difference a Day Makes”, being that, one of the grooviest tracks of the album. Take that “weakest part” as an example of how good is the rest. The drums are very well done and strong, with explosive moments such as driving ones. The Bass is much more apparent where solos are going on, but that is enough to see that it has rich lines embedded in the right place.
Another highlights of the album are “Innocent Exile” with a more bluesy feel and sounding a little like Clutch in the fastest riffs, and the last and instrumental “Faithful '99” which shows all the strength of this power trio, the song is so full and accurate that is truly hard to believe its only three musicians playing. This album is a truly enjoyable for everyone who is adept of the riff-land and for Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin fans. It's a dither and refreshing listening, heavy and fun, like rock and roll needs to be.