PICK OF THE WEEK: Eternal Storm deliver ambitious, adventurous death metal with ‘Come the Tide’

It’s nearly impossible to do a site about metal and not fall into clichés or easy descriptors every now and again. Because of that, sometimes the words we use could get misconstrued if a person doesn’t read deeper into a story (read the text beneath the headline, you know?), so we often have to be really careful when using certain terms that won’t give people the wrong idea.

I hesitate to describe Eternal Storm as melodic death metal because, let’s be honest, that’s going to put a certain picture in people’s head. Or, more accurately, a certain sound. In this case, we simply mean death metal that has melody infused in its DNA, and not some commercially slick package that would slot the band on a six-band bill at whatever of your local venue stages all-ages shows. One trip with “Come the Tide” will demonstrate this Spanish band, here on their first record, are so much more than that. They combine skull-dragging power with playing that could make your heart swell, and their overall presentation doesn’t wallow in the darkness, which is a breath of fresh air, to be honest. The band—bassist/vocalist Kheryon, guitarists/keyboard players/backing vocalists Daniel Maganto and Jaime Torres, and drummer/backing vocalist Mateo Novati—are joined by guests from bands including Wormed, Nexusseis, Asgaroth, Kaos Vortex, and others to create an album that is sweeping and full bodied, a far more realized offering than you’d expect on a debut.

The record starts with “Through the Wall of Light Pt. I (The Strand)” that bleeds in from the cold, letting frost build before the song bursts to life. Melodic charges and growled vocals from Kheryon fill heads before a quick breeze arrives, infusing more atmosphere. Then things get heavier, as a prog-fueled section adds excitement, and a quick switch back to calm leads into “Through the Wall of Light Pt.II (Immersion)” that continues the serenity as clean calls remind, “Your inner voice will never be heard.” Sax adds texture, and then the track bursts. The playing surges, while the soloing gets your juices going, and then wrenching growls from Kheryon remind, “We always walk by your side,” before the track melts into nautical waves. “Detachment” erupts from the water with punchy verses, growled lines that scrape, and a tempo that eventually brings chills. Passionate soloing catches fire as heart surge, the growling strikes, and the playing is a tidal wave that soaks deep shores. “The Mountain” is a crusher that explodes from the gates as vicious, throaty growls and hammering playing make a formidable team. The band slips into jazzy currents, bringing new hues before the violence returns. Blazing fires roar in the night, as the track destroys and spits shrapnel to the finish.

“Of Winter and Treason” runs 10:35, starting with fire crackling and acoustic runs making things feel rustic. As the track moves, a power surge ignites that’s both adventurous and punishing, with gruff growls leaving bruising on your ribs. A dreamy haze later settles over, with jazzy playing returning and making head swim in the clouds. Thunder then strikes as the fury thrusts itself, the growls roll, and the tracks ends up in a strange, mystical fog. “Drifters” is a quick interlude that lands just as you need a break, and it’s built by echoes, crashes, and whispers. “The Scarlet Lake” wrenches and begins to lay waste, as the verses smoosh muscles, and the chorus makes blood rush to the head. The track keeps gashing the flesh with daggers, while the guitars spiral, and plenty of twists and turns amplify the drama. The final moments are emblazoned with color as the energy smothers and things disappear into a mist. Closer  “Embracing Waves” is the longest cut, clocking in at 11:17, and like its title suggest, we start immersed in waves. The track rams through the gates as clean singing and harsh growls entangle, elegant guitars drizzle, and the pace pushes back and forth from forceful to tranquil. As the song builds toward its crescendo, all the elements you heard before this team up again and cause a great flood, as clean and grisly vocals appear, the music slams the gas pedal on emotions, and the track retreats back into the waters from where it originated.

While Eternal Storm offer no shortage of heaviness and grisliness, the band also packs a ton of drama and melody into their style of atmospheric death metal. “Come the Tide” is the perfect example of that, a record that’s gnarly enough to turn on harsher death metal listeners but also can fire up people who like a little more variety in their heavy metal. This is an interesting, immersive record that takes a few visits to fully absorb and will make you want to come back often to understand it even better.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/eternalstormofficial/

To buy the album (U.S.), go here: https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/

Or here (Europe): https://tometal.com/store/

For more on the label, go here: https://tometal.com/

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