Aeternam
Al Qassam


4.5
superb

Review

by Fernando Alves CONTRIBUTOR (59 Reviews)
March 27th, 2020 | 28 replies


Release Date: 03/27/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Aeternam enters the new decade with renewed enthusiasm, releasing their most ambitious album to date.

Let me start by saying I've been an Aeternam fan since 2012's Moongod. By then I was orbiting Behemoth, starving for bands with peripheral styles and Aeternam's sophomore worked like a charm. Its melodic middle eastern approach, reminiscent of bands like Orphaned Land or Septic Flesh, combined with an electrifying ferocity somewhat similar to Nergal & Co, hooked me immediately. I had never listened to anything that blended these elements in such an attractive fashion. One might say the band's sound is too polished for some more underground headbangers, but that refinement has been part of the band's DNA since day one. Unlike bands such as Nile, who explore eastern aesthetics within a rougher, atmospheric sound tunnel, Aeternam projects their music in a smoother, more accessible way.

The band's path throughout their three previous albums has been linear, never departing substantially from the initial style. The most visible changes are related to technical and artistic maturity, which have gradually improved. The leap is most evident in Moongod, that despite its coherence with its predecessor has shown an improvement in terms of composition and greater focus on detail. Ruins of Empires, on the other hand, although not having such memorable songs showed character and determination, mirroring the band's confidence in their style, which by now was fully consolidated.

As we dive into Al Qassam we instantly realize the band has lost neither their confidence nor their aesthetic orientation, on the contrary, both title track and 'The Bringer of Rain' spread a renewed epic vigor. Achraf Loudiy's vocals are more powerful than ever, and musically the whole band is galloping triumphantly, at full speed. As we move forward, we sense Aeternam have once again shaped a narrative based on the balanced combination of harmony and strength. We find this intensity in songs like 'The Bringer of Rain' or 'Ascension', which reflect the band's heavier side, while tracks such as 'Lunar Ceremony' or 'Palmyra Scriptures' (featuring Orphaned Land vocalist Kobi Farhi) mirror Aeternam's more melodic and peaceful colors. It is in their midst that lies the band's identity. However, Al Qassam isn't just made of these more evident contrasts. Songs such as 'Hanan Pacha' and 'Poena Universi' masterfully compile a broader chromatic palette, the latter being one of the most epic songs this band has ever recorded. The symphonic nuances, although familiar, were also enhanced, operating as a transverse layer that confers a mystical and epic aura to Al Qassam. These symphonic arrangements operate symbiotically with the songs, as is evident in 'Celestial Plains', which dances around its symphonic surroundings.

Aeternam enters the new decade with renewed enthusiasm, releasing their most ambitious album to date. The aesthetic remains familiar, yet more refined, like a wise painter who manages to expand his stroke and chromatic palette while remaining coherent with his artistic legacy. Al Qassam is thus a triumphant expression, an epic journey through Aeternam's colorful eastern universe.

A journey I invite you to take.



Recent reviews by this author
Behemoth A ForestSorcerer Lamenting of the Innocent
...and Oceans Cosmic World MotherVader Solitude in Madness
Warbringer Weapons Of TomorrowBlack Curse Endless Wound
user ratings (43)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2020


13993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Decimal rating: 4.3



I'm a Moongod fan, but I dare say this is their best work to date, at least their most ambitious. Great jam



Full album stream:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lknsz2QUCYE&t=4s

Digging: Sinister - Deformation of the Holy Realm

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2020


11217 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just adding more and more onto the 2020 pile, eh?



Solid writing per usual.

Digging: No Note - if this is the future then I'm in the dark

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2020


13993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, it's been a good year so far. I have a feeling April will be even better.



Thanks man

DDDeftoneDDD
March 27th 2020


12171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Aaaiiii but a Notrap 4.5 (in the year's release) is something we see once maybe twice a year. Listen is mandatory.

Digging: Thou - blessings of the highest order

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2020


12522 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

adding this to the playlist



RippingCorpse1986
March 27th 2020


3230 Comments


I remember hearing their previous album, Ruins of Empires, back in 2017. Can't say I've kept on track with this band's discography.

This sounds really cool, will have to check. Nice write up.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2020


13993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers D. It happens from time to time ;)

I don't see you enjoying this, it's too melodic, but give it a chance, who knows?



Dunpeal
March 28th 2020


4399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

overall, this is a solid album, but there's just nothing super memorable like their previous 2

Digging: Chronic Necrosis - Parasite

Kusangii
March 28th 2020


2738 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This sounds cool af

TundraL5Z
March 28th 2020


4238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This might be the best thing I've heard all year so far

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
March 28th 2020


13993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I feel the same, album's awesome.

south_of_heaven 11
March 29th 2020


5554 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've listened to this non-stop (basically) the last few days. It's great, and I feel like it's at its best when you can play it from beginning to end.



That being said, I lean towards "Ruins" being their best.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2020


13993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ruins is undoubtedly great, in fact all their releases are quite interesting. Moongod had a huge impact on me back in 2012, I'll always have a special connection to it, but in Al Qassam the band has outdone itself. It has become my favorite.

ecalahorrano
March 29th 2020


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Superb. But I miss a little more sweep picking. Great voice and middle east theme fits great with heavy music.

Beardog
March 30th 2020


3515 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bro, this sounds way better than their past releases. Just in, but this goes hard. It has so much energy, everything sounds so lively!

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
March 30th 2020


13993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Absolutely. We can tell the band is thrilled.



They've been on their own without an label for some time now, just like Cryptopsy. Most likely they don't need music to pay bills, which means the guys are making music just for fun, and sometimes that makes all the difference.

DDDeftoneDDD
March 30th 2020


12171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

"A journey I invite you to take." knocking at the door...opener is a great jam m/

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
March 30th 2020


13993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You're welcome.



Yes it is. I didn't expect you to like this mate ;) that's super cool.

DDDeftoneDDD
March 30th 2020


12171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Digging the way this prog

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
March 30th 2020


13993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, the band has an oriental hybrid sound. Super catchy, without being cheesy.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy