Released: 2004, Armageddon Music/Noise Pollution
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Germany’s Aeternitas is a new experience for me. Founded in 1999 by Alexander Hunzinger and Anja Malchau, Aeternitas released their debut album the following year. REQUIEM featured a combination of metal with classical music elements and original Latin lyrics. In 2002 the work on a follow up album began and it took the band a whole year to finish it. During the work on the album that would become LA DANSE MACABRE (LDM), the band switched from Serpina Records to their current label, Armageddon Music. On LDM the band scrapped the Latin for lyrics in their native German tongue. Since I don’t know German, I haven’t got a clue what they’re singing about. For that matter, I don’t know Latin either.
There are three vocalists amongst the seven members of Aetenitas. There is no drummer identified in the liner notes, so I guess they used pre-recorded drums. It sure sounds like it. I don’t know where the album was recorded or by whom, neither do I know who’s written the music and lyrics. The soundscape and production are pretty good, but that’s about all of the positive things I have to say about LDM.
The vocal style can best be described as VERY sad, dark, gothic vocals combined with operatic-style vocals and ordinary metal vocals. Every song includes gothic, industrial metal and metallic opera music along with ordinary metal. The band tries too many things and it’s hard to find something to like in this constant blur of sounds. They should stick to one style and hold on to that. And again, what’s up with singing in German? I’m not opposed to bands singing in their own language, but at the end of the day only a limited number of people understand German. That’s a limitation the band puts on itself by making that choice.
I’ve listened to LDM a number of times to give it a chance, but it just doesn’t stick with me. It feels complicated and strange. The band describes their sound as theatrical music, but the only thing theatrical about Aeternitas is their appearance. If you like gothic music, please spend your money on something worthy. I don’t have any favorite tracks amongst these songs, but how could I? Aeternitas is only for the listener who wants a real challenge.