Eternal Elysium are silly.
Stoner Rock, it’s great isn’t it? Well, it was, before legions of Kyuss worshippers formed their own band to create their own brand of painfully derivative, generic, and unmemorable crap. Every band that was formed seemed to strive to be as tedious and boring as possible. That was, until Eternal Elysium showed up. Eternal Elysium are silly, strange, weird, memorable, and above all, original.
Eternal Elysium formed in 1991, by Yukito Okazaki, Atsutoshi Tachimoto and Jiro Murakami. Tachimoto and Murakami did not stay for long, and Eternal Elysium have an ever-changing line-up since. Share
was released as the fifth incarnation of Elysium, out of a total eight. Yukito Okazaki, as always, performs guitar and vocal duties, while Toshiaki Umemura was recruited on bass and Rio Okuya on drums.
At heart, Eternal Elysium are a Stoner / Doom band with obvious 70s and 80s Heavy Rock influences.Share
is a CDs worth of psychedelic-doom riffs, thundering bass and crisp, clear drums. The opener “Schizy" is an intricate, yet overtly heavy track, brought together by it’s swift and numerous time changes. “Machine" is a fast, savage and aggressive track that owes a lot to 80s Hardcore. “No Answer" is a 9 minute old-school doom song, that would fit equally well on The Melvin's Bullhead
as it would Saint Vitus’s V
Eternal Elysium are strange. At heart, they are Stoner / Doom band, but it’s quite astonishing the amount of other influences the band manages to incorporate in their sound. They blend in Psychedelic, Blues and Funk so effortlessly. They do it in such a way that the album remains distinctly Doom, and shows how good
Stoner Rock can be. “Schizy" showcases their psychedelic side, while “Feel The Beat" is strangely funky. “Waiting for the Sun" is a weird cross between pure Doom and Blues.
Eternal Elysium are silly. There are some tracks that can only described as silly. “Dogma" begins with a gargantuan riff, and soon descends into chanting along to African percussive instrument. Eventually, the chorus begins, and over 5 people start chanting “Hi-dy hi-dy hi-dy ho." The third song, “Movements and Vibes" is a very silly song, indeed. It wanders into the realms of Disco and funk, and is somehow danceable and heavy at the same time. It is most certainly the only Disco-Doom track I’ve ever heard. “Fairies Never Sleep" is a hauntingly ambient track, composed from scary growls and hums.
Part of Eternal Elysium’s charm is their vocals and lyrics. Yukito’s vocals are unusually high in the mix, this however adds to their brilliance. His vocals soar over each, and every song. Yukito odd accent makes many tracks sound almost comical. On “Waiting for the Sun" they are almost theatrical in their delivery. On “Machine" they are aggressive growls. The lyrics are brilliant. Yukito’s poor command of the English language produces lyrics that are odd and full of charm. On “Machine" he sings “I drink castor few-el/ It moves, makes me crew-el." On “No Answer" he sings, “Now I have to ki-ill/ I don’t have to feel." The vocal deliver on both of these tracks make the lyrics seem incredibly delightful, despite their almost menacing content.
Eternal Elysium, like so many things from Japan, are fascinating. They are both intriguing, and familiar at the same time. Eternal Elysium show what can be done if you don’t try to be the same as everyone else, if you try to be different. They are also a reminder of the territories that Stoner Rock has yet to explore, and probably never will. Share
’s beauty stems from its peculiarity and eccentricity.
Eternal Elysium are silly. But they’re original and interesting. That
is what counts. Right?
Waiting for the Sun
Movements and Vibes