Ewigkeit - Cosmic Man album review

Underground experimentalist returns to the metal fold

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Experimental one-man-band Ewigkeit maintained an eccentric, provocative presence in the British extreme metal underground circa 1997-2005, but after a decade of exploration, James Fogarty mothballed the project, citing the “tired, out-of-date” and “conservative” nature of metal in 2007. Ewigkeit returned in 2013 with an accessible, melodic, synth-glazed black metal album, Back To Beyond, an apparent conversion to conservatism that deepens on Cosmic Man. Pesky radical impulses forsworn, Ewigkeit employs the retro time-scoop that all the cool kids have been using this decade, pulling nuggets of 70s prog, doom, NWOBHM and Voivod out of 40-something childhoods like a kid in a sweetshop. And it’s glorious, the sound of a man falling in love with metal all over again. There are moments of aching melancholic beauty, but quirkily rampant, Hammond-driven metal heroism predominates, albeit through an unorthodox prism (Time Travelling Medicine Man is Solitude Aeturnus hijacked by EMF). However, the replication of Two Minutes To Midnight is no match for the ingenious, transcendent dub version of a Burzum song that closed the last album.