Review Summary: Suspiria + Mike Patton + Pain of Salvation = A surprisingly great and unique album.
It is very rare for a band to be completely unique but Vitam Aeternam is one of those few that manage to achieve this. While yes, Vitam Aeternam does clearly have influences ranging from Mike Patton to Pain of Salvation to Goblin, they still manage to rise above their influences and truly become something that is entirely themselves. They do this by using a myriad of different instruments and genres such as metal, progressive rock, opera, classical and more.
Revelations of the Mother Harlot
reaches an extremely high peak with it’s two ten minute plus epics, Sick & Pious
. Despite both being rather lengthy, they never seem bloated and are both filled to the brim with creative ideas. The vocals are operatic and theatrical making for some strange yet engaging moments. The piano sections are absolutely wonderful to listen to. The guitar solos are incredible here as the crescendoing melodies are nothing but memorable, particularly with Promethea’s
triumphant and epic solo work. Additionally, the song features some interesting electronic instrumentation that makes this an easy standout on the tracklist. Later in the song, the band jumps into a metal section filled with solid riffs and screams instead of their usual theatrical vocal style. Sick & Pious
features a break where the band further shows their skills of implementing different genres by adding latin music to the mix.
The rest of the songs on the album are relatively short, but still full of creativity, instrumentals. Veil of Isis
begins the record perfectly with a creepy atmosphere that feels reminiscent of the Suspiria theme. It hints at the amazing insanity that is to come. The next instrumental, Redemption
, contains synth work that has 80’s nostalgia all over it. Bardo Thodol
has a great acoustic section that feels it would be right at home amongst The Godfather soundtrack. The final track here, Finis Gloriae Mundi
, is where the operatic and classical influences come together in order to crescendo with an impressive and cinematic final moment in order to close off this spectacular album.
What keeps this album from reaching classic status for me, is that some of the instrumentals feel barren of new ideas on the odd occasion. This criticism is mainly towards Bardo Thodol
. For an album that excels due to it’s sudden and unexpected switch ups to other genres, sometimes it lacks these moments and ends up feeling that these moments are just here to fill up an extra minute.
Overall, Revelations of the Mother Harlot
is one the most unique albums I have heard in a while. It contains a number of great instrumentals and two truly immense, inventive and engaging tracks with instrumentation and vocals that are beyond stellar. This is a must hear if you like your music to be theatrical while also having a wide range of influences.