Released: 2016, Independent
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Aeternum Vale-Latin for 'Farewell Forever'-are a rising black star in the Irish metal scene. Their first full length album was an adventurous undertaking which paid high dividends in terms of end product. The five piece melodic black metal band that hails from Dublin recorded their first release live and ended up with an extremely authentic piece of extreme music that served as a fine piece of harrowing brutal somber.
They have now once again risen to give their subjects another dose of gruesome offerings in the form of a four track EP which will serve as a prelude to their next full release. 'Ashes Of Memory' looks to follow on from 2013's 'Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges' and continue on the path to carve the band a dark and lasting legacy.
This EP is noticeably different in terms of production. Although still Independent and self-produced, the album was recorded with all the parts being recorded separately and mixed together by the band themselves. This becomes noticeable when the first track 'Shadows Over Sculpted Stone' begins. The song opens and exhibits the band's knack for the melodic side of BM before the tempo shifts and everything becomes a frantic deluge of extremity. Colin Byrne's vocals are a menacing constant that freezes the blood whilst the two guitarists combine their separate formations into one catastrophic combination; a double edged sword.
A myriad of scornful forces ally to provide the feast that is at hand. The guitar work performed by Dave Gibson and Cathal Hughes is well composed and Dave 'Atlas' McCarron's proficient and aggressive drum work is well complimented by Cory Annatar's pounding bass lines. The EP goes from strength to strength as 'Revolt Of The Godless' dissipates and 'In Silence Triumphs Burn' takes hold. There is a plethora of excellence literally weeping from this EP. The flux can be brutal, tormenting, unrelenting but mostly enticing. Each element is as important as the next. With one piece missing, you would be staring down the depths of another good but not great piece of old school orientated melodic BM. Each member commits such gruelling acts to achieve the greatness that this EP oozes.
Being an EP, and only four tracks, we have to deal with a bleak scenario where the music stops and all that is left is to repeat and revisit. This is certainly something that is recommendable as it is a refreshing piece of black metal island magic. The final track, which shares the title of this EP, is worthy of incorporating the EP's name. Hard to pick between 'Ashes of Memories' and 'In Silence Triumphs Burn' as they are two commendable tracks but the former clinches the EP for myself, an EP of high standards. These high standards will surely bring the band to the forefront of Irish BM. It is only natural that they would be mentioned under the same breath as their fellow countrymen in Primordial but it is also fair to say that Aeternum Vale owe everything to themselves for putting out another quality recording. They have already announced intentions for their sophomore full release so it is now just a waiting game.