We’re constantly looking for meaning in life and in our everyday activities as we strive to get through this adventure with something to show for our efforts. Along the way, we struggle, we fail, and sometimes we use those things to learn and make our future journeys more informed because of the trials we have faced. But in the end, does that matter? Are we rolling the boulder up the hill for no reason?
I don’t expect we’re going to find any answers today. Certainly not on this sprawling site. But we do have “The Eternal,” the second record from Óreiða that tries to tackle these issues and make some sense of the struggle. Sole member Þórir G. Jónsson, known as Thor in this project, was reflecting on his own spiritual journey, as well as the relationship humans, the planet, and universe share with each other. The effort also ties in concepts from Albert Camus’ take on the Myth of Sisyphus and his concentration on the juxtaposition of humans assigning meaning to their activities in life and the universe’s refusal to respond in any meaningful way. That feedback just isn’t coming. These five tracks—all instrumental cuts—lend credence to the idea that we work and strive, conquer our hurdles, and still stare into the eyes of eternity no matter what. It can be daunting, even pointless to some people, but we have no choice unless we want to live a hollow existence with no substance at the end of our journeys.
“The Path” churns in the atmosphere, sounds whirring, the playing cutting inward. Spacey playing gazes as the power surges, melodies crush, and the tempo picks up into a tornadic force. The playing buzzsaws before entering into an imaginative fog, melodies lapping and repeating, allowing heat and frost to unite and explode. “The River” is jarring with synth clouds collecting and crushing, settling into the stars and moving gently through the night skies. The mystical aura then tears open as riffs catapult and spirits collect, running at an adventurous yet ominous pace, surging as your mind explodes. Synth quivers as the seas rage, eventually with all elements soaring deep into the blackness.
“The Climb” enters in a black metal spiral, swimming through smeary hypnotics, a strange gaze taking over before the drums rupture the bubble. The playing rushes as your heart races, thunderous power rivets, and the blazing hits an apex before fading away. “The Apex” is trudging and cloudy, the strangeness gathering as the sounds enter a maw, the synth layers devouring everything. Your nerve endings tingle as an infusion of power ruptures, pushing and adding pressure until the sounds rocket into the sky. The closing title track gushes as guitars push, melodies wash, and barometric pressure plays games with your mind. A slow, entrancing vibe takes hold as the playing gazes anew, storming through intense peaks and valleys, blasting into the universe for an eternal mission.
The universal understanding at the heart of “The Eternal” and the struggles we all face are shared battles, a mission we either accept or fail to face. The music here that Óreiða creates not only is imaginative, it can be the soundtrack to your own exploration as you strive to gain a better hold of your place in the galaxy. It’s a creation that has so many twists and turns, a run of human emotions, that it likely will take several trips to fully get a grasp on where you’re headed.
For more on the band, go here: https://oreida.bandcamp.com/
To buy the album (U.S.), go here: https://debemurmorti.aisamerch.com/
And here (Europe): https://www.debemur-morti.com/en/12-eshop
For more on the label, go here: https://www.debemur-morti.com/en/