The element of mystery is something that’s largely gone in the world of heavy metal as social media has stripped away a lot of the puzzle (remember when we didn’t know who was in Ghost?), and therefore we get to know more about the individuals behind the music and what makes them tick. It’s a nice quality, but it’s also alluring when we can’t see behind the curtain.
Australian black metal force EOS are like phantoms in the night, albeit really loud and terrifying ones, and their debut record “The Great Ascension” is horrifying and nightmarish. In fact, if you look at the band photo, they kind of look like they’re about to drop a rap album, but don’t let that fool you. These three masked figures have been working on their great opus for several years now, and it is a savage, yet thought-provoking work, something that mars your psyche and drags you on a strange journey through the excesses, tragedies, and evils of humankind that have their hooks in all of us.
The title track hammers open, splattering the walls with blood as the vocals gurgle, and grisly playing increases the pressure. The playing allows trickles of melody into the DNA as maniacal howls devastate, and group wails sicken as the song blazes out. “Valkyrie” has gruff vocals and the drums utterly pummeling as melody spills into the darkness. Vicious howls destroy while guitars flood the senses with gigantic ruffs, wrenching hell heats up dangerously, and everything ends in brute force. “Amour Propre” opens in grinding chaos as insane howls spit shrapnel, and black metal-level melodies darken the skies. Detached calls open a trance as shadows thicken, and everything burns to ash.
“Draugar” simmers in its juices as the vocals tears open flesh, and the relentless pace puts you in imminent danger. Heavy and slurry, the track turns you inside out, leaving battered limbs behind as the roars push and the leads heat up, stabbing toward an abrupt end. “Memento Mori” heats up as glorious riffs glimmer, and then shit just rams open the castle walls. Drums hammer as the vocals are delivered through gritted teeth, and then the playing loses its mind and swings sharpened blades. Leads spiral, making the room spin, while everything barrels toward a vicious end. “Black Winter Bloodbath” brings choked riffs and drums drubbing hard while the growls creak out as if from a dusty crypt. The ferocity then multiplies as the melody rushes in waves, the playing stampedes, and everything ends in a pile of muscle and sinew. “Illumination and Will” ends the record and delivers a sprawling assault that causes disorientation. The vocals unleash hell while the black metal streaks smear grease, bringing a grittier pace as throaty vocal snarls poke wounds. The heat continues to increase while the pace takes apart skeletal structures, ripping out its own guts and blasting to the end.
EOS’s mysterious guise and relentless black metal make “The Great Ascension” a perplexing but rewarding listen. It took me a few visits to really explore the peaks and valleys these Aussie freaks have woven into this creation, and ultimately that amplified my enjoyment level. Black metal has been at oversaturation for quite some time now, but EOS prove that it’s still possible to make morbid waves in this subgenre and create something creepy and memorable.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/eos.black.metal
To buy the album, go here: https://brilliantemperor.bigcartel.com/product/eos-the-great-ascension-lp
For more on the label, go here: https://brilliantemperor.bandcamp.com/