Aeternus: ...And The Seventh His Soul Detesteth

Norwegian death metallers throw in a little spice

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Other than the professional setback of being in possession of a rubbish logo, Aeternus are also plagued by the pure unflinching, uninhibited mediocrity of half of their meat’n’potatoes back catalogue. Attempts to serve up their greasy chunks of by-the-book death with surprising seasoning such as grunge or borderline nu metal elements (evident on 2006’s HeXaeon – even that capital x manages to be irritating), have proven ill-advised.

Cue 2013, and Aeternus’s fusion cuisine has improved in finesse. When straying from the path of satisfying-yet-non-spectacular death metal, some admittedly beautiful classic-sounding guitar solo work shimmers out of the murk, such as on The Confusion Of Tongues, which at one fleeting moment also recalls Bolt Thrower. Any stab at providing melody, like the one that suddenly bursts in halfway through Reap What You Saw, is welcome.

There are downtuned moments aplenty, where Aeternus demonstrate what deathcore could have sounded like had it fulfilled its potential. Ruin And Resurrect and Saligia might just be the best tracks they have ever penned, thanks to the former’s melodic, almost gothic grandeur and the latter’s cleverly placed pastoral refrains. Aeternus won’t change anyone’s life, but …Detesteth is their best album yet.