When I see an album come into my queue that’s one track and just a hair under fifty minutes in length, I think one of two things: “Oh fuck, the label decided to combine all of the tracks together so you can’t listen to each song individually” (this happens more often than you think…), or in this case, “That’s one fucking long song!” Yes, A Etilla is one long track. That leads to the automatic second part of this, which is the question, “How painful is this going to be to listen to?” Russia’s Epic Funeral Doomsters, Ea, have been writing songs in excess of twenty minutes for quite some time now, having started in 2005 and, after four previous LPs, have honed their craft to a fine art. This might be one long track, but it’s never boring. This is an epic-length song that goes somewhere. It’s akin to listening to a combination of Turn Loose the Swans-era My Dying Bride and a Dark Ambient band. They have a heavy, more Death Metal-inspired style when it comes to their vocals and guitar tone, but with a far more integrated and developed sense of atmospherics. Instead of plodding, boring music that has been artificially stretched out, A Etilla is constantly changing. The music is dark, ominous and heavy - all of which are essential in creating awesome Doom Metal. The band uses ancient sacred texts as the basis for their lyrics, and to a degree, their music is like a spiritual journey. I’ve always found things like this to be fascinating, mostly owing to my interest in ancient mystical texts, occultism and forbidden knowledge. Of course, I’m one of those crazy kids that was playing D&D, reading H.P. Lovecraft and drawing pictures of Cthulhu in the third grade. As you can imagine, I was one of the “weird kids” that would be a Ritalin zombie in today’s school system. Ea taps into the area of my brain that likes the mystical. They use Ambient passages and choir parts to great effect, breaking things up and then segueing into a new sections, all the while keeping things moving. By the time the song is over, you’re almost exhausted because it takes you all over the place, from punishingly heavy guitars to ethereal Gregorian choirs. If you’re into Atmospheric Doom/Death Metal, they’re definitely a band to check out if you haven’t already done so.
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